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Eric LeGrand to receive 2017 WWE Warrior Award

Former Rutgers University defensive tackle Eric LeGrand will be honored by WWE at this year's Hall of Fame ceremony.

It was announced on Monday that LeGrand would be the recipient of the 2017 Warrior Award. LeGrand was paralyzed from the neck down while making a tackle on a kickoff return during a football game in 2010. He has since served as a motivational speaker and started Team LeGrand of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation to help those living with spinal cord injuries.

In an interview with ESPN, LeGrand said that it was Paul "Triple H" Levesque who told him that he would be receiving the award.

"Paul's assistant sent me an email on Tuesday saying Paul wanted to talk and wanted to schedule a call for Thursday," LeGrand said. "So I'm sitting here for two days wondering what Triple H wants to say to me. My heart was racing for two days wondering what this was all about. When he called me, he explained the award to me and what they do at WrestleMania, and then he told me at the end that they want to present the award to me, and I honestly didn't know what to say. I didn't know how to react. This was incredible as someone who grew up as a fan since I was a little kid."

LeGrand will be the third person to receive the award that was founded in 2015 to honor the legacy of The Ultimate Warrior. Connor Michalek, a WWE fan who had battled cancer and was eight years old when he passed away, and Joan Lunden were previously honored.

The Warrior Award is given to someone who "lives life with the courage and compassion that embodies the indomitable spirit of The Ultimate Warrior" and is a spin-off of an idea that The Ultimate Warrior mentioned during his Hall of Fame induction speech before he passed away, where he spoke of wanting WWE to honor integral employees who worked behind the scenes.