Former Rutgers football star launches company after career cut tragically short

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Eric LeGrand was a stand-out football player for the Rutger Scarlet Knights until his career was tragically cut short. The defensive tackle may have had a shot at playing on Sundays in the NFL, but on October 16, 2010, LeGrand suffered a severe spinal cord injury at MetLife Stadium during a game against Army. 

LeGrand’s injury occurred while making a tackle on a kickoff, as he drove the crown of his head into the ball carrier. The collision broke LeGrand’s C3 and C4 vertebrae, resulting in paralysis from the neck down. LeGrand’s initial diagnosis was grim, yet the determined young man began practicing breathing without a ventilator. He also regained sensation and movement in his arms. 

Football fans in New Jersey are preparing for the start of the NCAA football campaign. Fans can get the latest promotions for New Jersey casinos and sportsbooks before the new season kicks off and the intensity of the new NCAA football season begins. 

The former Rutgers defensive tackle is an incredible story of heart and determination. Yet, LeGrand’s story isn’t over. He became a sports analyst, author, advocate for individuals who are paralyzed, and a business owner. LeGrand is an inspiration for millions of people, whether they watch college football or not. 

Recently, LeGrand took another step in the world of business by launching his very own whiskey brand. The company, known as Eric LeGrand Kentucky Straight Bourbon, produces 750ml bottles of whisky, Each bottle retails for around $45. Allied Beverage Group is the official distributor of LeGrand’s whisky and supplies it to liquor stores across New Jersey. 

The former defensive tackle’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon is distilled and bottled in the state of Kentucky. The whiskey is crafted using limestone purified water, corn, fresh rye, and barley. It is aged for a minimum of two years in charred oak barrels. Legrand aims to add variations and other liquors to the brand’s line-up in the future. 

LeGrand believes that bourbon is a lot like spinal cord injuries. Bourbon cannot be produced overnight, and spinal cord injuries cannot be overcome in just one day. Bourbon production is a journey, and it can take years for a vintage to become ready to drink. LeGrand’s journey back from his spinal cord injury took years, and he is still fighting it. 

LeGrand co-founded the whisky brand with Brian Axelrod. Axelrod works on the commercial side of some of the world’s most famous spirits labels. The duo has pledged to donate $5.20 of every bourbon case the company sells to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. The reason for donating $5.20 for every case sold? LeGrand wore the No. 52 jersey for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation provided intense rehabilitation for LeGrand following his injury. The foundation works to further the research on finding a cure for spinal cord injuries. It also aims to improve the quality of life for sufferers of spinal cord injuries. So far, LeGrand has donated nearly $2 million to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.

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