It was a long time coming but Signing Day finally arrived for Eric LeGrand. The talented Colonia product committed to the Scarlet Knights almost ten months ago, yet it wasn't until today that his future in Piscataway finally became official. LeGrand was one of the first recruits to pen his name in Scarlet.
"It's a great feeling today to finally get this process over with," said LeGrand. "It's been a long four years. I'm just happy to sign today. I committed early. I just knew it was the right time to commit. I think it was the perfect time. It was a long time to wait."
The LeGrand family was on hand to share the monumental occasion. His mother Karen and sister Nicole watched proudly as Eric signed his letter of intent.
"To be honest, I'm going to miss him running the ball," said Karen LeGrand. "I'm also going to miss running up and down the side of the field. I'm the type of parent that doesn't sit still in the stands. I get nervous and I walk along the fence. But in college, you can't do that. But I am looking forward to college because it's the next level up. It's a couple hundred fans versus thousands of fans. I think it will be a lot more exciting."
Over the past year, LeGrand has become sort of the ambassador for the recruiting class of 08. He has also become a fan favorite before even putting on a Rutgers uniform.
"This past year was a good experience," said LeGrand. "I was just talking to all the players and telling them what Rutgers has to offer. They would listen and some would commit, some of them would go elsewhere and hopefully JB will commit today. It's kind of relieving now that it's done, but I'm going to have to start working on the 2009 class."
Eric's mom has also embraced the quick wave of attention that has already poured her son's way.
"Everybody's looking forward to him going there. It makes me feel comfortable that he not only has me rooting for him, but he has a bunch of fans ro0ting for him. He's such a likeable kid. He wants to please. There's a lot of high expectations and he wants to fulfill those," said Karen LeGrand.
Eric's high school coach, Ben LaSala, was also on hand to share the proud moment. He remarked on what Rutgers will be gaining in what he claimed to be the best player to ever come out of Colonia.
"He's the hardest working kid ever out of here," said Coach LaSala. "We had 102 weight room sessions last season. He was at 101 of them. He is always there and always working. And on the field, you could always count on him making a play for us. There are so many different aspects on and off the field I'm going to miss about him too. There's nobody that can replace an Eric LeGrand as a person or a player."
LeGrand is looking forward to his future in Scarlet, but he did take a moment to discuss what he'll miss most about his high school playing days.
"I'm going to miss running back. I love running back. That's the first position I played when I was younger and I started hitting. I just loved it there, but you have to move on to bigger and better things. I'm going to miss the atmosphere too. I love the coaches here. I love all the people here. It's just a great feeling and a great environment to grow up in."
As this morning's historic event unfolded in Colonia, Rutgers officially gained what figures to be an integral part of its future. The long anticipated wait for Eric LeGrand to become a Scarlet Knight is officially over. And it is a future that is certain to look awfully bright in Scarlet.
"I'm looking forward to hopefully starting as a freshman," said LeGrand. "I don't think it's going to be that long of a wait. I'm going to be lifting every day with Jay Butler and it's going to go by fast. I'm going to get on the field next year and it's just going to be amazing."