Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich, the ACC's reigning defensive player of the year who will miss this season while he battles cancer, said his goal is to "pick up where he left off" in 2010 and play for BC and then possibly the NFL.
For his teammates to even hear those aspirations is a small, yet important boost to a program in desperate need of hearing something -- anything -- good. Since Herzlich was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, this past spring, it seems like the Eagles just haven't been able to take two steps forward without a quarterback or somebody else getting knocked two steps back. The leadership is lacking under first-year coach Frank Spaziani, and to even have Herzlich on the sideline this fall will be an inspiration to the team.
BC's other top linebacker and vocal leader -- Mike McLaughlin -- has been out with a torn Achilles, and most recently, quarterback Dave Shinskie suffered a broken rib. The transfer of former quarterback Dominique Davis left the Eagles without any collegiate experience at quarterback, and certainly without any leadership there, let alone any clarity on the depth chart after three scrimmages. There are veterans on the offensive line, where four starters return, and there is some young talent on the two-deep, but the Eagles are missing their main man. Imagine how he feels.
"It's been tough so far," Herzlich told ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach. "The toughest part was having them go through camp while I was here. But I'll be able to be with the guys and can encourage them from the sideline. To be in that stadium full of fans is going to be great."For the Eagles, having Herzlich back in the stadium will be even better.