The story of Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich is well known by now.
A cancer survivor that went through a year of radiation and treatment, Herzlich only put pads on again three days before returning for the first game of his senior season. His goal of playing football again motivated him throughout the process.
“I talked to people who are going through cancer right now. The biggest problem they have is not having a light at the end of the tunnel, not having a goal,” Herzlich said Sunday at the NFL Scouting Combine. “My goal happened to be running out the tunnel, with my team. It got me through a lot of things.”
Herzlich was poised, comfortable, and impressive to listen to. He was excited to show off what he could do on the field this week because he finally has got to prepare with a true offseason to build up his body.
“Monday is going to be a fun day,” Herzlich said. “They’re going to be like, ‘Oh wow, he can move well again.'”
Projected to be a mid-round pick, Herzlich said teams have told him he’d probably be a SAM linebacker in a 3-4 or 4-3 defense. Some 3-4 teams think he could play inside linebacker.
It’s hard not to root for the kid after listening o him. He said cancer didn’t change his core values, but it made him more patient and ready to battle what’s next in his life.
“Throughout the year that I worked through chemotherapy and radiation, those were tough times. Those were as tough as they’re going to get,” Herzlich said. “So in the fourth quarter, as tough as it is, at the end of the day you’re playing football. I’m doing something I love, so take every minute and don’t waste it.”