Eric LeGrand graces Sports Illustrated’s final 2011 cover

Ever since Eric LeGrand suffered a spinal cord injury against Army last season, he's done his best to turn the negative image of his college football career ending into an inspiration for the rest of the college football world.

And he has succeeded.

So much so that the moment when he led Rutgers onto the field for the first time since his accident was named Sports Illustrated's fan choice for the best moment of 2011 and was depicted on the magazine's final cover of 2011.

On Oct. 29, in the middle of a snowstorm, LeGrand made his first journey from the players tunnel across the field and to the sideline since his injury. In just over a year, LeGrand, who was paralyzed from the neck down, has defied odds by gaining feeling back in his extremities, sitting and even standing with assistance.

He's been an inspiration and now he's immortalized on what is annually one of the most sought after Sports Illustrated covers of the year.

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Curtsy (female version of the hat tip) to @JasonBaumRU
Graham Watson is on Facebook and Twitter: Follow her @Yahoo_Graham