Chat with Mark Herzlich
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich stops by to help celebrate Jimmy V Week here at ESPN.
In the 16 years since The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded by ESPN and Jim Valvano, the foundation has raised more than $90 million. The V Foundation started with the dream of Valvano, the former NC State basketball coach and award-winning broadcaster, as he battled cancer. For more information, or to donate to the V Foundation, call 1-800-4-JimmyV or go here. Every cent of every donation goes directly to cancer research.
Just months after being named an All-American linebacker at Boston College, as well as the 2008 ACC Defensive Player of the Year, Herzlich was diagnosed in May with Ewing's sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. He sat out the entire 2009 season, however, in September was declared by doctors to be cancer free.
Send your questions now and join Herzlich Monday at 3 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (2:57 PM)
Mark is here!
I'm excited for this year's bowl game against USC. What is the feeling amongst the players? Thanks
Mark Herzlich (2:58 PM)
The players are really excited. The general feeling is that if you told us at the beginning of the season that we'd be playing a bowl game against USC, half of the country would have laughed at that. It's really going to be a statement game. If we pull off a win, it says a lot about our program.
EDWIN (LOS ANGELES)
Mark. Glad to hear that the surgery was a success, and that you're planning to return next season. I get pumped just thinking about you playing opposite Luke Kuechly. What do you think will happen with both of you guys on the field next season?
Mark Herzlich (2:59 PM)
I think it's going to be great. Luke is obviously a special player and a lot of raw talent. Combined with his talent and determination and I'll have a lot of determination next year. It's great playing with another good linebacker. You compliment each other.
Victor (Groton Ct)
What is your next step in your career now that you are cancer-free
Mark Herzlich (3:01 PM)
The next step will be to start training. I have staples in the leg from the surgery. I get those out today. Start jogging and running when the pain from the surgery goes away. It will be a long process getting my strength back. I'll be ready to play either for spring ball or the fall.
George (San Diego)
The Blind Side was the top grossing film of last week. Is there a Herzlich Football Movie in the works?
Mark Herzlich (3:02 PM)
There may be. People have contacted me about making a book or a movie. A lot of that will have to be on hold until my eligibility is over and I'm done. That stuff will come, but not immediately.
George (Norfolk, VA)
Hey Mark! It looked like you were really having fun at the championship game this weekend on TV! If you had a Heisman vote who would it go to?
Mark Herzlich (3:03 PM)
I think Mark Ingram really set himself out this weekend. He's done it all season. I think Mark Ingram played really well. RB is a much harder position to stay harder all year. There's another player that's closer to us in the ACC in CJ Spiller. He would get my vote. Playing against him, I know how hard he is to tackle.
Mark, Who is going to win the BCS National Championship? Roll Tide Roll!!
Mark Herzlich (3:04 PM)
Well, I think Alabama really is great on the ground. In college football, if you can control the ground game, it's really hard to stop. If Alabama's defense can play with the speed they did against Florida, they have the edge defensively. I wouldn't be surprised to see them pull it out.
George McNamara (Leominster, MA)
Hi Mark (and Heather)!I hope this question makes it to you, Mark (we were experiencing technical diffies with chatting on ESPN earlier today).Mark, first off, we are so very happy that you are now cancer free and we all commend you on doing a fantastic job inspiring others battling cancer. Well done indeed Mark! Now, about next season (although we still have one more big game left this season)...... I believe Coach Spaz has laid a very strong foundation for next year and I see great things ahead for The Eagles, would you agree? Also, enjoy the Emerald Bowl, we will all be rooting & watching back home for another Eagles Bowl Win! Warm Regards from Leominster, Ma........George McNamara
Mark Herzlich (3:05 PM)
Yeah, I think that Coach Spaz has laid a foundation for the football team, really for the last 12 years. He's really the only constant from the Tom O'Brien era. He did a good job working with what he did. The real thing comes down to players. We've shown that we work hard and we fight to win. We'll show that next year.
Mark, watching the game Saturday night with 2 very good offenses playing, did you want to get out there and show them how to tackle?
Mark Herzlich (3:06 PM)
I think if I went out there on the field against CJ Spiller, I'd have a hard time tackling too. Defense played a role. Clemson didn't get the stop when they needed the stop. Defense is a staple that you'll see in the ACC. It was interesting to see such a high scoring game, which you don't usually see in the ACC.
So Clemson gave you a jersey and VT gave you a helmet...did any other schools give you gear so that you could wear a mix and match ACC uniform?
Mark Herzlich (3:07 PM)
Yeah, NC State gave me a statue of one of their wolves. Notre Dame gave me a jersey. I'm going to forget somebody. I think every other team donated something or a check. Virginia gave a football. There were other gifts which were very much appreciated.
Ruby 2 (Washington, DC)
Hey Mark - I'm BC '08 and I want to pass along my best wishes on your recovery. As far as football goes, it seems like we bring back a lot of pieces next year. Do you think it is the year we finally bust through and make a BCS game?
Mark Herzlich (3:09 PM)
I think definitely that we have a great chance of doing that next year. A lot of players returning from this team. I'll be coming back off of injury. We go into next season with a very heavy senior team. With more experience. The past two years, we were close to getting to the BCS game. Hopefully next year is the year we push through.
Bruce (Los Angeles, CA)
You are such a talented player and I am so amazed by your recovery from cancer. What are you looking forward to the most about returning to football in the fall?
Mark Herzlich (3:09 PM)
Well, just being able to play the game of football again. It's really the best game ever created. Getting back on the field will be incredible.
Bill (Rhode Island)
So Mark, do you have to give the towel back to Coach Spaziani for next year? Or is there some way they can pin it to that #94?
Mark Herzlich (3:10 PM)
I don't know, maybe we'll see. Maybe we give it to a GA. I don't know if Coach Spaz will want it back. I don't know. We'll see.
Let's talk BC. (Other than your return) What does BC need to do to make it to the top of the ACC next season?
Mark Herzlich (3:11 PM)
I really think what we need to do is be more consistent than this year. In the games we lost, we had turnovers and penalties. In the games we won, we won the turnover battle and less penalties. We have the talent and work ethic to win the games we play. We just have to execute better.
Any idea who BC will get to replace Hofstra next year in its schedule?
Mark Herzlich (3:12 PM)
I don't. I was down at the ACC championship game this past weekend with our AD. I was there when he got the information about Hofstra and he was scrambling to find someone. I'm sure he'll find a good quality opponent to fill that spot.
I know that you've received national support to help you through your battle with cancer. What would you say to those who continue to battle this disease who gain inspiration from you?
Mark Herzlich (3:13 PM)
One thing I tell everybody is in order to keep battling when it's tough is to create goals for yourself. If you create goals that are accomplishable, you can give yourself checkmarks. When I started chemo, that was a checkmark. When I had my surgery, another check. When I finished chemo, checkmark. If you create goals, that will help you through.
Mike (North Carolina)
Mark, after temporarily losing something you love so much (football), have you been able to take that experience and motivate your teammates during grueling off-season workouts and summer camp practices?
Mark Herzlich (3:14 PM)
Yeah, I think I was able to a little bit. I was home for most of the summer, but I kept in contact with them. I was able to call and answer questions they had. I think my fight helped them and their fight helped me. We battled it together and build off each other's fight.
Mark Herzlich (3:15 PM)
I just want to thank you all for your support. Watch on the 26th when we play USC.