NEW YORK (AP) — Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand has some sensation in his hands, but he remains paralyzed from the neck down.

The family updated LeGrand’s condition Thursday, the same day the junior defensive tackle was named the winner of the 2010 Discover Orange Bowl Courage Award.

LeGrand, a junior from Avenel, N.J., was injured Oct. 16 in a game against Army. The award will be presented Jan. 3 at the Orange Bowl in Miami.

Rutgers spokesman Jason Baum said the family confirmed the sensation in LeGrand’s hands late Wednesday, adding nothing else has changed.

The Football Writers Association of America presents the award for displaying courage on or off the field, including overcoming an injury or physical handicap, preventing a disaster or living through hardship.

Last month, LeGrand was taken off a ventilator and is able to breathe on his own. His injury was reclassified from a complete spinal cord injury to an incomplete spinal cord injury. He is rehabilitating at Kessler Institute in West Orange, N.J.

“Eric has displayed so much courage and determination throughout his injury and rehabilitation,” Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said. “He has given everyone associated with our football family at Rutgers the strength to persevere through life’s challenges.”

LeGrand’s family issued a statement, thanking the association and all parties connected with the award: “He continues every day to make positive steps and has attacked his rehabilitation with the same desire and passion as he did on the football field. We continue to ask everyone to keep Eric in your thoughts and prayers.”

The “Eric LeGrand Believe Fund” has been set up to help finance his treatment. For information, visit

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

pixy Rutgers LeGrand To Receive Orange Bowl Courage Award

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