Boston Colleges: Mark Herzlich

Herzlich headed to the Giants

July, 26, 2011

Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich tweeted Tuesday that he has decided to sign with the Giants.

"Decision is made I will be a #GIANT can't wait to get to #NYC," Herzlich tweeted. "Thank you for everything."

Herzlich later tweeted to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter: "I have chosen the #Giants great team, great fit, great opportunity."

Herzlich was considered one of the top defenders in college football following the 2008 season, but he missed the entire 2009 season due to Ewing's sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. After returning to the field in 2010, Herzlich went undrafted in April's NFL draft.

Click HERE for more

Herzlich not giving up on NFL dream

July, 20, 2011

Appearing on ESPN's "Jim Rome Is Burning" on Wednesday, former BC All-America linebacker and cancer survivor Mark Herzlich provided some chilling details of his original diagnosis, his mindset during his recovery and his eagerness to prove he can play in the NFL.

Herzlich related how he felt the moment he was told by his doctor that he had Ewing's sarcoma, recalling that an MRI showed his "entire left leg was white, filled with a tumor in my thigh."

"When the doctor basically said you have cancer, I felt like my whole world was falling out from underneath me," he said. "I got sweaty, my hands got clammy.

"It's tough to say you're going to beat it and play again. It's tough to do that when a doctor says, 'I'm sorry to tell you this, but never going to run again, you'll never play tennis, you'll never play golf, you'll never play football again. And by the way, there's about a 35 percent chance you may not make it six months.' "

Herzlich said the support of his family, friends and teammates got him through the toughest times, and that he never accepted failure, which he classified as anything less than playing football again.

"No matter what anyone told me, I believed that I could do it," Herzlich said. "There was no bad news in my mind."

Herzlich acknowledged that not being taken in the NFL draft was frustrating and somewhat puzzling, and that he's eager to prove he belongs in the NFL.

Asked why he thinks he wasn't drafted, Herzlich said, "I have no idea. I've been speculating a lot myself. Teams could have been scared of the medical factor, maybe they didn't see what they wanted to see on film from my senior season.

"It was a frustrating day, kind of a low point. But at the same time I have a big opportunity now to sign as an undrafted free agent, get on a team and really prove myself."

Video: Herzlich on his disappointment

May, 1, 2011

Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich talks on "SportsCenter" about his long wait during the NFL draft, when his name was never called. With the lockout in place, at least for now, he and other undrafted free agents are in a state of limbo.

Video: Herzlich at NFL combine

February, 28, 2011

SportsCenter reports on BC linebacker Mark Herzlich's workouts and media session at the NFL combine.

Podcast: BC's Herzlich with Scott Van Pelt

February, 16, 2011
Boston College LB Mark Herzlich appeared on the Scott Van Pelt Show on Tuesday and discussed returning to the football field after his battle with cancer ("It took six or seven games to get that game speed back"), where he thinks he would fit best in an NFL defense ("I think the 3-4 outside spot, but I can play inside too"), how he's preparing for the scouting combine and where he thinks he'll land in the draft.

To listen to the podcast, click ">HERE.

Mark Herzlich wins Rudy Award

January, 11, 2011
BOSTON -- Linebacker Mark Herzlich of Boston College has won the Rudy Award after missing a season with a rare form of bone cancer then returning to play his senior year.

The award is given by the charitable Rudy Foundation to a college football player who shows exemplary character, courage, contribution and commitment. It was presented Tuesday to Herzlich's father, Sandy, at the American Football Coaches Association convention in Dallas.

Herzlich was the ACC defensive player of the year in 2008 then was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma. This season, he played all 13 games and was third on the Eagles with 65 tackles.

The award is named for Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, a walk-on at Notre Dame and the subject of a 1993 movie. He played in only one game and sacked the quarterback on Nov. 8, 1975. He had been diagnosed with dyslexia, was 5-feet-6 and weighed 165 pounds.

Herzlich's story just keeps getting better

December, 1, 2010
Boston College senior linebacker Mark Herzlich's triumphant return to the football field has inspired his teammates and coaches all season long. ESPN's Jeff Wagenheim writes about Herzlich's tremendous progress and talks with the players who line up next to him each day at practice. Here's part of the article:

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. -- The seniors on the Boston College football team raced, one by one, out of the tunnel and between two rows of bouncing cheerleaders to the middle of the Alumni Stadium field. As each player was greeted by a parent or other maroon-and-gold-clad family member, he was bathed in the cheers of a swelling crowd, many of the fans having wrapped up their tailgating early to take part in this pregame ceremony on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Each player was given his due, from the massive and marvelous future NFL lineman to the guys who made more modest contributions during their years at The Heights. But the most thunderous roar of all was reserved for the final senior to charge past the waving pom-poms and into a big, tight, never-going-to-let-go-of-you hug from his mother.

And why not? Mark Herzlich has been the story of BC football for the last three years.

Following two seasons in which he established himself as a tackling machine on the strong side of the Eagles' defense, the linebacker from Wayne, Pa., became a nationally recognized star as a junior in 2008. Along with a team-leading 110 tackles, he had six interceptions, more than any other backer in the country, and returned two of those picks for touchdowns. The Atlantic Coast Conference defensive player of the year and a first-team All-American, Herzlich was a finalist for the Butkus Award, which as the name implies is given to the nation's top linebacker. He also was a quarterfinalist for the Lott Trophy, presented to a defensive player who is outstanding not just on the field but in his personal life as well.

Those Lott committee members hadn't seen anything yet.

To read the entire story, click HERE.

Video: Mark Herzlich conversation

November, 27, 2010

Mark Herzlich, who returned to the field earlier this year after beating cancer, reflects on his senior season at Boston College.

BC notes: Early emotions shake Shinskie

September, 4, 2010
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. -- After Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich ran out of the tunnel to play football in Alumni Stadium for the first time since overcoming cancer, Eagles sophomore quarterback Dave Shinskie was also overcome.

“He lined up under the guard the first time,” BC head coach Frank Spaziani said of Shinskie, who finished 10-of-20 passing for 185 yards, two TDs and two INTs in the Eagles' 38-20 season-opening victory over Weber State. “He let the clock run down the first play and threw the interception the [second] play. Yes he settled down. He played better.”

After tossing the interception from BC’s 19 on the second play of the game that led to Weber State going up 3-0, Shinskie led BC down the field quickly, completing a 6-yard TD pass to sophomore tight end Chris Pantale to put the Eagles up with 3:16 left in the opening quarter.

A 26-year-old former minor league baseball player, Shinskie hit his biggest home run on a 44-yard pass to redshirt freshman wide receiver Johnathan Coleman to set up Montel Harris’ 4-yard TD to go up 21-3.

“Since we lost Colin [Larmond, Jr.] no one knew who we had,” Coleman (98 yards on 3 receptions) said, referring to the season-ending injury the team’s No. 1 wideout suffered recently. “It was good for us to come out and show we have good receivers and we can catch the ball and make plays. Hopefully it’s not a question mark anymore and we do what we have to do to show we can play.”

For Shinskie’s part, he vows never to make the kind of boneheaded plays he made at the start of Saturday’s game.

“I was emotional because of Mark,” Shinskie said. “Mark led us out on the field and that’s an amazing thing. I don’t know what to say. It was a fumble in my head and it will never happen again.”

Hitting with Kuechly
Besides playing football for the first time in a year and a half, a cancer-free Herzlich also played with fellow linebacker Luke Kuechly for the first time.

Kuechly had a breakout year last season as a true freshman with an eye-popping 158 tackles. The Freshman All-American weakside linebacker in 2009 moved to middle this year and had a game-high 11 tackles last year -- his 10th straight game in double digits.

Herzlich, who played 31 plays in the victory over Weber State, made his first two tackles of the game in tandem with Kuechly.

“I couldn’t imagine how fast he got over there a couple times,” Herzlich said. “I was on my way and Luke just shows up in front of me and I was like ‘Oh he really is fast.’”

Herzlich, who had a metal rod inserted in his leg after being declared cancer-free last fall, said he was never worried about how he would hold up during contact.

“The first time there was a collision, to be honest I don’t remember what play it was, I didn’t really check myself like ‘Oh I’m all good,’” he said. “It was just kind of like let’s get back and do another play and try to make a tackle.”

Momah two ways
Senior Ifeanyi Momah played his first game as a two-way player on Saturday. The senior wide receiver and defensive end who red shirted last year due to an injury was supposed to mostly play defense this year before Larmond, Jr. went down for the year.

On Saturday he caught a 17-yard touchdown pass and almost had a sack.

“It was cool,” he said of playing defense. “I really wanted that sack. It’s a learning curve.”

Going all the way
Senior defensive back DeLeon Gause returned an interception 66 yards for a touchdown with 3:20 left in the third quarter. His third career pick was his first BC returned for a touchdown since Kuechly took one back against Central Michigan last season.

Video: Herzlich interview on First Take

September, 2, 2010
Mark Herzlich talked about his battle with cancer, returning to the practice field, what it will be like in his first game back and much more on First Take on Thursday morning.