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Herzlich reflects on journey to Combine after cancer battle

Mark Herzlich

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.”

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5 Responses to “Herzlich reflects on journey to Combine after cancer battle”
  1. Kave Krew says: Feb 27, 2011 10:55 AM

    Bruschi reincarnated. Even if he’s a backup to start, He will end up being a good deal for a team in need of LB and leadership.

  2. getweird4u says: Feb 27, 2011 11:05 AM

    Great story how can you not root for this kid,having seen firsthand what chemo and radiation do to a person this kids journey is remarkable hope he has a great career and will be rooting for him!

  3. kegpack says: Feb 27, 2011 11:07 AM

    Good story.

  4. bleedgreen says: Feb 27, 2011 11:19 AM

    I’m hoping my Eagles can pick him up in the 4th or so. Would LOVE to have him on the team, and hey, he can’t be worse than our linebackers minus Bradley.

    People like to pooh pooh Stewart Bradley, but the defense played 10x better with him in there because he’s extremely smart. Being he had the radio, he was able to understand what McDermott was trying to do and get people in the right position to execute. This ability seemed to be lost once he wasn’t on the field.

  5. rushbacker says: Feb 27, 2011 4:11 PM

    Great story, and the guy is a good football player as well. I agree that some team is likely to get a steal with him. It could easily end up being one of those situations where you look back five years later and ask “how did he last that long?”

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