It happened 10 years ago this Thursday. Adam Taliaferro, a freshman cornerback for Penn State, tackled Ohio State tailback Jerry Westbrooks on the turf of Ohio Stadium. Both players crumpled to the ground. Westbrooks eventually got up, Taliaferro didn't.
Taliaferro had suffered a severe spinal cord injury on the play and was facing life as a quadriplegic. Doctors gave him only a 3% chance of ever walking again.
"I really wasn't panicked when I was on the ground, but when they strapped me on the gurney and were taking me off, I tried to give a thumbs-up to let the crowd know I was OK," he said. "But I couldn't move anything. That's when I knew something was going on. Even then, though, the thought of being paralyzed never entered my mind."
Taliaferro battled back and regained the ability to lead a normal life. In 2008, he graduated from law school now works for an international law firm that specializes in gaming matters as well as labor and employment. He also heads the Adam Taliaferro Foundation, which has raised more than $600,000 to provide financial assistance to athletes who have been seriously injured in sanctioned contests.
"I appreciate what I have every day," he said.