Once Taliaferro, 26, takes a little time off to visit Disney World and prepare for the bar exam, he has a job awaiting him at the Center City office of Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoades, where he'll join the labor and employment department.

"They offered me a job, and I quickly accepted it," said Taliaferro, who spent two summers as an associate at the firm.

Taliaferro's old civil procedure professor, John S. Beckerman, had no doubt that the same grit and determination that got Taliaferro this far would also make him a fine lawyer.

"A lot of folks focus on what Adam has had to overcome to recover from his injury and to get through law school," Beckerman said. "But what you need to know is that this is not anyone who ever asks for any accommodations. He is a person of fortitude and perseverance that is amazing, and he is smart as a whip."

But, without warning or reason, he was suddenly down and out that afternoon, sprawled on the field with a fractured fifth cervical vertebra near the base of his neck.

To this day, that initial helpless moment remains the worst of it for Taliaferro.

Even after surgery, the doctors told Taliaferro nothing about his condition. They told his parents the prognosis was not good.

Looking back, did Taliaferro realize he could muster the resolve to essentially pull off a miracle?

"Not at all," he said, thinking back to those months. "First of all, my parents were there every second of every day. I had people all around me encouraging me. With them, I was able to accomplish things I never thought I could."

Life now is all gravy. He takes nothing for granted.

"Just getting up out of bed every morning, walking, brushing my teeth - just being able to get up and do everyday life functions - is special to me," he said. "I no longer look to the future. I appreciate the moment. I appreciate the now."

He holds no grudge against football. "People ask me if I would let my kids play football," he said, nodding as if to say, "yes."

"I tell them it was a freak accident," he said. "I can't blame anybody. It just happened."

"Every injury is different, but from what I hear, you sort of plateau after about five years," Taliaferro said. "It has been eight years for me, so I think I've got everything I am going to get back. You're not going to see me running anywhere any time soon."

With that, Taliaferro grinned and walked - quite happily, thank you - off to live the rest of his life.