Adam Taliaferro was paralyzed while making a tackle for Penn State in a game at Ohio State in 2000. After spinal-fusion surgery, doctors told Adam's parents their son would probably never walk again. Three months later, the miracle was completed as Adam walked out of Magee Rehabilitation Hospital in Philadelphia. Today the miracle continues as Adam embarks on a career with one of the world's largest phamrmacetical companies!
Welcome to the home page of the Adam Taliaferro Foundation!
The Adam Taliaferro Foundation provides emotional, financial and educational support to student-athletes who suffer catastrophic head or spinal injuries in New Jersey, Pennsylvania or Delaware. The foundation also provides educational and financial support related to the research, prevention and care of spinal injuries.
Over the years the Foundation has established itself as one of the most prestigious sports organizations of its kind, and with continued public support and interest, the ATF will continue to positively impact the local sports scene!
Be sure to click on the pages and news items on this web site to learn more about the Adam Taliaferro Foundation. And make sure to support the Foundation financially as we carry out our mission to help others with spinal cord injuries.
By Tom Luicci
PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Two of the most inspiring players in the history of Rutgers and Penn State football will be re-united when the schools meet for the first time as Big Ten opponents on Sept. 13 at High Point Solutions Stadium.
Eric LeGrand of Rutgers and Penn State’s Adam Taliaferro, forever linked through horrific spinal cord injuries suffered on the field and their courageous recovery efforts that followed, will serve as honorary game captains when the Scarlet Knights face the Nittany Lions in their Big Ten debut, it was announced today.
Both players will be on the field for the pre-game coin toss.
“It’s going to be pretty cool,” said LeGrand, whose No. 52 is the only retired jersey in Rutgers history. “Adam is a role model for me. From meeting him for the first time, seeing him on his feet again when doctors told him he’d never be on his feet, he has really pushed me during my recovery.
“He’s still a big inspiration to me.”
For Taliaferro, the feeling is mutual.
“For me, it’s an absolute honor to share this with Eric,” he said. “Eric has inspired me ever since his injury and continues to do so each and every day.”
Taliaferro suffered a career-ending spinal cord injury making a tackle against Ohio State in a game on Sept. 23, 2000. Paralyzed by the injury when he ruptured his 5th cervical vertebrae and bruised his spinal cord, the Voorhees, N.J. native was given a five percent chance by doctors of ever walking again.
He has made a full recovery.
LeGrand was paralyzed while making a tackle on a kickoff against Army at MetLife Stadium on Oct. 16, 2010, fracturing both his C-3 and C-4 cervical vertebrae. Though he remains confined to a wheel chair, paralyzed from the neck down, LeGrand said he has gained some trunk movement and occasionally has sensation in his fingers.
“What makes this so special for me is that Adam was in touch with me from the very beginning,” said LeGrand. “I remember when I was first transferred to Kessler Institute; he came to see me the first month and a half. He has been supporting me and encouraging me from the start.”
It’s LeGrand’s relentless determination to walk again that has Taliaferro convinced the Scarlet Knights’ former defensive lineman will eventually do so.
“I remember seeing Eric a couple of days after his injury,” Taliaferro recalled, “and I remember the first thing he told me is `I’m going to be just like you. I’m going to walk out of this.’ For him to still have that same tenacity to this day, as I said, Eric continues to inspire me. I believe in my heart he will get up and walk someday.”
LeGrand, an Avenel, N.J. native who starred at Colonia High School, will also be working as a radio analyst for the Rutgers Radio Network during the Penn State game, doing a pre-game, halftime and post-game report.
“The atmosphere will be electric for our first Big Ten game under the lights and it’s phenomenal that we can have Eric and Adam serve as honorary game captains,” said Rutgers coach Kyle Flood. “We would be hard pressed to find two people who exemplify everything that is right about their respective programs more than Eric and Adam. I know they have formed a special bond and we are thrilled to have both of them take part in a historic night at High Point Solutions Stadium.”
LeGrand graduated from Rutgers in May with a degree in Labor Relations. He was among the speaker during commencement ceremonies as well.
“Everything that has been happening to me recently just shows you how great Rutgers University continues to be to me,” said LeGrand. “They’re keeping my name involved with so many great things at the school. It’s why I care so much about Rutgers. It’s all very touching.”
LeGrand and Taliaferro have both created foundations to help find a cure for paralysis while helping improve the quality of life for people with spinal cord injuries.
For LeGrand, it is Team LeGrand of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. Rutgers University also established the Believe Fund to assist LeGrand during his recovery efforts.
Taliaferro created the Adam Taliaferro Foundation in 2001.
A member of the Penn State Board of Trustees, Taliaferro earned his law degree from Rutgers School of Law-Camden in 2008. He currently works for Bristol Myers Squibb.
LeGrand provided one of the sports highlights of 2011 when he led Rutgers onto the field in a snow storm for a game against West Virginia on Oct. 29 in his wheel chair, his arms locked in those of his teammates. That was voted Sports Illustrated’s “Best Moment of 2011.”
S.J. Football Coaches Association Announces 2014 Hall of Fame Inductees
GLASSBORO – The South Jersey Football Coaches Association has announced its Class of 2014 Hall of Fame inductees.
To be inducted will be:
High School Coach: PJ Mehigan
Professional Player: Dino Hall
Distinguished Service: Joseph Cacia
Legends (post playoffs): Jeff Smith
Legends (pre playoffs): Vince DeLaurentis
Assistant Coach: Gerry Taraschi
The recipients will be honored during an induction banquet on Tuesday, July 1, at 6 p.m., at Masso’s Caterers in Glassboro, NJ. Tickets for the banquet are $30 and may be obtained by calling (856) 582-0212.
PJ Mehigan (High School Coach)
A long-time head coach in South Jersey, Mehigan has enjoyed outstanding success at his alma mater, Cherokee High School.
At Cherokee, he guided his teams to South Jersey Group IV championships in 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2013. He has posted a record of 105-28 since 2001, which includes five conference championships. Mehigan is a Cherokee High and Rowan University graduate.
Dino Hall (Professional Player)
A graduate of Pleasantville High School, Dino played in the NFL for the Cleveland Browns from 1979-1983 where he was a running back and Special teams player. While with the Browns, he set 9 team records and 1 NFL mark. In a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dino returned 9 punts, an NFL record that still stands. In 1985 he played for the Portland Breakers of the USFL.
Dino was a member of the All-NCAA Division 3 Baseball Team at Glassboro State in 1978 when Glassboro won the College World Series. As the leftfielder, Dino was named MVP. In football, Dino was named a Kodak All-American in 1978 and was also Glassboro State’s MVP in 1977 and 1978
Dino coached JV Baseball at Glassboro State in 1983 and later coached high school football for 4 years. Dino is in his 29th year of teaching Physical Education/Recreation at Pleasantville High School.
Joe Cacia (Distinguished Service)
Following his scholastic and collegiate playing days at St. James and West Chester, he built an outstanding career in coaching and distinguished service,
At St. James, he coached the Spartans to a 26-16-1 record from 1962 to 1968, winning a pair of South Jersey Parochial C championships. He also coached St. James’ baseball teams to a record of 53-24, which included three straight SJ Parochial C titles from 1963 to 1965.
He later rebuilt Hammonton High’s football program in the late 1960s and 1970s, compiling a 47-14-2 record and winning four Cape-Atlantic and a South Jersey Group 1 crown.
Jeff Smith (Legends (Post-Playoffs)
A 1997 Pitman High graduate, Smith was a standout two-way lineman for the Panthers who earned All South Jersey and All-State honors as a senior while also playing in the Rotary Bowl, He also starred in wrestling and track and field for Pitman for three years.
Smith played football at Bloomsburg University and earned NCAA Division II honors as an offensive tackle. He helped Bloomsburg to an appearance in the NCAA Division II national championship game as a senior.
Vince DeLaurentis (Legends Pre-Playoffs)
DeLaurentis was a 1950 Hammonton High and 1955 University of Alabama graduate who starred in football and proved to be one of South Jersey’s all time best defensive players. A Hammonton, he was selected as All-County, All Cape-Atlantic and All-State teams during his senior year.
At Alabama, he led the Crimson Tide to an appearance in the Cotton Bowl and started every game at linebacker and center his junior and senior years. Vince later served as head coach and assistant football coach at his alma mater, Hammonton High.
Gerry Taraschi (Assistant Coach)
Taraschi is considered one of South Jersey’s top assistant football coaches in a career that has spanned more than 30 years at Paulsboro High, Washington Township and Kingsway while also serving as head coach for two seasons at Paulsboro High, winning South Jersey Coach of the Year honors in 1986 after a 10-1 campaign.
He was elected to the Gloucester County Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.
The Adam Taliaferro Foundation is conducting a Booster Drive to raise awareness of the Foundation. Your tax-deductible membership donation will help the Foundation provide financial and emotional assistance to those individuals with spinal cord injuries.
Click below to learn more about the benefits of becoming a booster and how you can join:
Attention all families and patients needing financial assistance. If you have a need for financial aid due to a qualifying medical condition from a spinal cord injury, please look over the application below and contact a member of the Adam Taliaferro Foundation Medical Committee.