Adam Taliaferro, who suffered a horrific spinal cord injury in a game against Ohio State on Sept. 23, 2000, has been named an honorary game captain along with former Rutgers player Eric LeGrand for the Penn State-Rutgers game on Sept. 13.
LeGrand and Taliaferro share a similar story, as LeGrand too suffered a career-ending spinal cord injury while making a special teams tackle against Army in 2010. His injury has rendered him paralyzed from the neck down, and bound to a motorized chair. The courage of both men has been inspiring to countless individuals who share a similar story.
“It’s going to be pretty cool,” said LeGrand in the press release. “Adam is a role model for me. From meeting him for the first time, seeing him on his feet again when doctors told him he’d never be on his feet, he has really pushed me during my recovery.”
Taliaferro expressed similar gratitude while discussing how special it will be to share the field with LeGrand. “For me, it’s an absolute honor to share this with Eric,” Taliaferro said. “Eric has inspired me ever since his injury and continues to do so each and every day.”
Taliaferro, now a trustee, was famously given a 3 percent chance to walk ever again following his spinal injury. He was one of the first people to reach out to LeGrand after his injury, and they have remained in touch ever since. Taliaferro is one of the strongest believers in LeGrand to overcome this obstacle in his life, and regain the ability to walk just as he did.
LeGrand also works as a radio analyst for Rutgers and will be doing work during the Penn State game. The game, which takes place on Sept. 13 in Piscataway, N.J., will be a special atmosphere indeed. This marks the first time Rutgers and Penn State face off as Big Ten opponents, and should be a classic matchup to watch under the lights.