As if Rutgers University hadn't suffered enough already, defensive tackle Eric LeGrand was left paralyzed after attempting a tackle just moments before the end of an overtime victory against Army.
The college junior, 20, who was described by friends as "goofy" and "dedicated", was rushed into emegency spine surgery and it isnot known if he will ever walk again.
"I was at the game and the entire stadium went silent. You could hear a pin drop when it happened," Mike Demko, a fifth year sports management major, told ABC News. "You knew something awful had happened."
In a statement released by the university, LeGrand's family said, "We want to say thank you to everyone for all of your prayers, kind words, and well wishes. We appreciate every single thought. Eric is in good spirits and we are praying for a full recovery."
Teary-eyed as he spoke to the press on Saturday, Rutgers head football coach Greg Schiano described LeGrand as "a fighter."