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Herzlich thanks fans for support after going undrafted

Mark Herzlich

You aren’t supposed to root as a member of the media, but Florio and I were rooting like many others for former Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich to get drafted at the end of Saturday’s seventh round.

It didn’t happen, and now Herzlich is stuck like so many other potential undrafted free agents in limbo, waiting for the NFL lockout to end to see where they will go next.

Herzlich, who overcame cancer to return to play in 2010, was in New York for draft festivities during the week and was on stage Thursday before the draft started.  We heard that he left town on Friday because he knew he wouldn’t be taken until day three at least.

It had to be a big disappointment to Herzlich to go undrafted; after all he was considered a surefire first-round pick in 2009 before cancer struck.   He took this latest adversity in stride and with class, as you’d expect.

Thanking everyone for their support tough times call for perseverance and a tough mind,” Herzlich wrote on Twitter.  “Today sucked for me but everyone needs to pray for all the people in Alabama. They need us more than ever right now.

“I have been told that I can’t play football before. We all know what happened with that. #neverquit.”

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51 Responses to “Herzlich thanks fans for support after going undrafted”
  1. thereisalwaysnextyear says: Apr 30, 2011 10:31 PM

    You think this guy ain’t showing up for OTA’s? You want to have this guy on your team just to have him. Find a spot.

  2. ctiggs says: Apr 30, 2011 10:32 PM

    The teams that drafted a kicker or punter should have drafted this class act guy out of sympathy. I guarantee those kicker or punters would be available in undrafted spots, what a shame keep on fighting Mark. It’s obvious you are not done.

  3. bucks12965 says: Apr 30, 2011 10:33 PM

    Sounds like he has dealt with worse things than not being drafted. It’s hard not to root for a guy like that, but something tells me he’ll be fine…whether he plays pro ball or not.

  4. jets4744 says: Apr 30, 2011 10:34 PM

    This dude is going to be a star for whoever picks him up what a class act he would be a great locker room presence I was dissapointed the Jets didn’t take him.

  5. mataug says: Apr 30, 2011 10:35 PM

    Thumbs up.

    Yes, you can.

  6. johnnycash19 says: Apr 30, 2011 10:38 PM

    Who wouldn’t want this guy on their team? This guy is all class. I be rooting for him like crazy WHEN he gets picked up by someone.

  7. kissbillsrings says: Apr 30, 2011 10:39 PM

    I was really hoping, as a Patriot fan, that they would take him & groom him to be an OLB in their system….I wish him the best of luck in free agency(when it starts)…..some team will be lucky to land him….I still hope it’s the Patriots but I feel that’s wishful thinking….

  8. msclemons67 says: Apr 30, 2011 10:41 PM

    Hard to believe at least one team didn’t take a flyer on him in the 7th. It’s not like 7th round picks work out all that often anyway – why not take a guy would could possibly recover into top 10 shape?

  9. bigtrav425 says: Apr 30, 2011 10:43 PM

    i cannot believe that not ONE team took a chance on this guy in the draft..to me that’s the biggest surprise.I think the NFL as a whole should feel somewhat ashamed.Listen i know its a business.But your talking about a guy who beat cancer then came back to play football!! how tough of a guy do you want???

  10. jw731 says: Apr 30, 2011 10:45 PM

    It would have been a nice story if he was drafted, but he wasn’t. I’m sure as he said, it sucked for him. He will be invited to a camp, and hopefully he succeeds. The adversity he has faced in his life, pales in comparison to not being drafted. I think wherever life takes him he will succeed. His parents should be extremely proud of a selfless son who personfies dignity and class…..Best of luck to this young man…

  11. link49 says: Apr 30, 2011 10:47 PM

    mi admiration and deep respect for this kid….he is a NFL Player for the 32 teams.

  12. rockymtnphinfan says: Apr 30, 2011 10:48 PM

    Come on Miami go get this guy.
    You should have drafted his ass before Frank Kearse!!!!
    Ireland and Sparano how can you let talent like this not get drafted in the FREAKING SEVENTH ROUND!!!

  13. geeeeemen says: Apr 30, 2011 10:49 PM

    I was shocked he wasnt drafted. How could not one team take a chance on him. What is to lose?? Giants took 2 LB in round 6, was hoping one of them would be Herzlich.

  14. edmazeing1 says: Apr 30, 2011 10:49 PM

    I thought he was goin to be the last pick, by houston!!!

  15. tatum064 says: Apr 30, 2011 10:50 PM

    there was a time when character, guts meant something….obviously the 40 time took care of that.

    to be fair he isnt the fastest, and wasnt the highest rated, but he racked up tackles when he did play.

  16. nepatriots128154 says: Apr 30, 2011 10:51 PM

    So this guy overcame cancer and goes undrafted, yet his message is to pray for all the people in Alabama?

    Class act

  17. Dawgpound says: Apr 30, 2011 10:53 PM

    Too bad because he seems to be a really class act with the heart of a warrior. Hey Mr. Holmgren: Give this man a shot as a free agent!

  18. jjtruck says: Apr 30, 2011 10:53 PM

    Its a shame, this kid is a hard working, very high character, he is inspiration for any cancer patients and for his teammates, hell anyone that you can overcome anything, I hope someone takes a chance on him

  19. hokies34 says: Apr 30, 2011 10:54 PM

    WOW. Great guy, hes got a chip on his shoulder.

  20. staff2cj4td says: Apr 30, 2011 10:54 PM

    if the owners and players can’t just look at this kid and settle the lockout, they are clueless!!!

  21. justinnelson71 says: Apr 30, 2011 10:56 PM

    he would look good in a 49ers uni!

  22. hobartbaker says: Apr 30, 2011 11:03 PM

    #neverquit.

  23. demanrighthere says: Apr 30, 2011 11:12 PM

    I would like to say I was hoping my lions would draft him in the 5th or 7th… hopefully we Get to him in FA if we have one because I feel his best football is ahead of him still! High character guy who has great instincts… a little more time getting back to his old self and he will be a legit player in the NFL… I find it hard to believe all the teams taking chances on guys they that were unknowns hoping to find a diamond in the rough… why wouldn’t they want a guy that they know what his character and drive are about and take a chance on this guy gaining his completer skill set back… IR him the first year and get him healthy at worst case scenario… he would’ve been a 7th round pick for gosh sakes, its not like he was going to get millions for ride the IR pine!

  24. descendency says: Apr 30, 2011 11:16 PM

    I wish Herzlich the best. I wish he would end up in a NE uniform but I don’t know if they have a roster spot for him with the talent they have at ILB and he probably can’t play rush end (OLB) in their scheme.

    I’d still love to see a Herzlich Patriots jersey. . .

  25. packulak says: Apr 30, 2011 11:21 PM

    The P.R. alone from making him even mr. irrelevant should have been worth a pick. There will be many names we never hear again that were drafted. Should make his story a good one though should his perseverance result in success. As a CFL fan maybe that road will come through Winnipeg…go Bombers!

  26. seahawkhuskyfan says: Apr 30, 2011 11:30 PM

    Class!

  27. spreadthecheese says: Apr 30, 2011 11:35 PM

    After everything he’s been through…he’s got this.

  28. apdaddy77 says: Apr 30, 2011 11:40 PM

    I wish some of the players in the league had half of the heart that this guy has, its a shame how so many players take the talent and health that they have for granted. I would love to watch this guy play for my team on sundays.

  29. bcknights says: Apr 30, 2011 11:45 PM

    The NFL needs a few men like him. Class all the way. He will land some where, I’m pulling for him.

  30. tr975 says: May 1, 2011 12:00 AM

    I’m confused. There were many players with injury concerns in this draft:

    Da’Quan Bowers, Adrian Clayborn, Bruce Carter, Marcus Cannon, Robert Quinn, etc…

    And Mark Herzlich.

    Why is it that Herzlich was the only one to go undrafted?

    Some people were saying that Bowers’ knee condition is so bad that he may not play beyond the first contract, he will likely not be able to practice a lot, etc. (2nd round)

    Some are saying that Bruce Carter may not even play this year at all. Even if he does, it may not be for just a handful of games at the end of the season. (2nd round)

    Some questioned the strength of Adrian Clayborn’s arm due to a condition that might affect his ability to rush the passer. Not sure if there were any long-term ramifications of this condition, but I personally did not read any of that. (1st round)

    Marcus Cannon was diagnosed with a treatable form of cancer, but I cannot believe that he isn’t going to have issues with strength and conditioning while undergoing treatment, and there still exists the possibility of a recurrence in the future. (5th round)

    Some people were fearful of a tumor or cancerous growth in Robert Quinn’s brain (I believe that was the specific issue). (1st round)

    Mark Herzlich overcame the cancer before last year, proved that he could still play even with the rod in his leg. Perhaps he would have to work to regain complete strength in that leg over time, but he is already more than a year removed from the beginning of that process, and probably could have played a limited amount of snaps as a backup until fully recovered and then fought for a starting job. (Undrafted)

    I would say, before the injury and strength concerns, Herzlich was probably as highly rated as any of the above players, at worst a 2nd round prospect.

    Again, why was Herzlich the only one undrafted?

  31. thelomasbrowns says: May 1, 2011 12:07 AM

    Not letting a kid like this get picked up as a UFA= irreparable harm.

  32. schmitty2 says: May 1, 2011 1:04 AM

    you know whats both scary and sad? That people on here actually give thumbs down to this kid. He is actually a good player. Other teams took chances on players with medical or character issues. You can think he might not be talented enough to be an NFL player but dont thumbs down on people making nice comments about his class

  33. highwaiianjahwaiian says: May 1, 2011 1:20 AM

    dude come down to Tennessee cause youre a beast

  34. kcroyal says: May 1, 2011 2:11 AM

    Wow…as others have stated this is a complete shock. It’s not like the guy is some division two nice guy that happened to get cancer…he was a highly touted prospect at one point that got cancer. Why not take a 6th or 7th round flyer on a guy that obviously has the potential? …not to mention the positive P.R. that would come with it. It just seems win/win to me.

  35. tonysiragusasbelt says: May 1, 2011 2:58 AM

    You would think, with the nfl being an entertainment business and all, that an inspirational story such as Herzlich’s would be pr gold. You know, the kind of pr that would take fans minds’ off of, umm I don’t know, say millionaires and billionaires squabbling over $$$ that they’ll never see in a lifetime?? He’d be a serious return on investment to say the least. More importantly, his perseverance, will, and incredible mindset is an inspiration to absolutely anyone who knows his story. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that I’ll root for any team that picks him up!!!!

  36. jollyrob68 says: May 1, 2011 3:13 AM

    I can’t believe the Pats didn’t take a local kid but took Marcus Cannon. I would of taken both.

  37. paredskinwarrior says: May 1, 2011 6:52 AM

    this kid was was a 1st rd pick before thcancer he kicked it’s ass and will many qb’s when Shanny can sign him to the Skins! Play him on the inside and let Fletcher show him the ropes and within 2seasons he is a young Urlacher in the 3-4!! Good luck markHTTR!!

  38. brasho says: May 1, 2011 8:06 AM

    Good for Herzlich and not getting drafted by a team that already had a ton of LBs. Now he can sit back, and he and his agent can calculate and plan for him to go to a team that gives him the best chance to stick around.

    I think him not getting drafted is only going to help his chance in sticking on a roster.

  39. ribruschi54 says: May 1, 2011 8:35 AM

    NE will pick this kid up

  40. realitypolice says: May 1, 2011 8:36 AM

    This kid will be the poster child for the players that will be hurt the most if this lockout continues-

    Undrafted free agents who will come in as long shots to make rosters in the first place and need every possible opportunity to impress the coaching staff. Every OTA and mini-camp missed is a huge blow to these guys chances of having an NFL career.

  41. durno99 says: May 1, 2011 8:49 AM

    So if you fail a drug test teams will take a chance on you but if you beat cancer they will pass. If owners and players had the drive this guy has WE would not be in a Lockout right now. GET A CLUE………………

  42. cletusvandam says: May 1, 2011 8:52 AM

    Makes you wonder how a guy like this doesn’t get drafted, but a guy facing 20 years in prison does.

  43. trimgod69 says: May 1, 2011 9:12 AM

    would love to see Herlitch in a Bears uniform !

  44. realitypolice says: May 1, 2011 10:08 AM

    brasho says:
    May 1, 2011 8:06 AM
    Good for Herzlich and not getting drafted by a team that already had a ton of LBs. Now he can sit back, and he and his agent can calculate and plan for him to go to a team that gives him the best chance to stick around.

    I think him not getting drafted is only going to help his chance in sticking on a roster.
    ==========================

    Ordinarily, I would absolutely agree with you. But with the current situation, who knows when the signing period for undrafted free agents will start? If the lockout drags on, it could seriously effect the ability of players like him.

    With a shortened period of time to evaluate these kids, teams will be more likely to focus on established players at cut down time because they just won’t have had enough time and film to make decisions on unproven players.

  45. laeaglefan says: May 1, 2011 10:51 AM

    To the person who said that someone should have drafted this guy out of sympathy…..

    This is a business we’re talking about. Sympathy doesn’t enter into the equation here. If some team thinks he can play, he’ll be signed as a free agent.

    Whatever he ends up doing, with his attitude, he’ll be fine wherever he goes in life.

  46. CKL says: May 1, 2011 10:55 AM

    Reality-
    I see both your side and brasho’s. I just hope someone gives the kid a chance. Like another poster said, it isn’t like he’s JUST a feelgood story, he had serious talent and was sure to be a high pick before this disease befell him.
    Good luck to the kid. Can’t imagine anyone not rooting for him.

  47. denverwally says: May 1, 2011 11:34 AM

    It’s not over Mark, its just starting. This kid was a beast before the cancer. He will make it. I bet he gets at least a half dozen free agent offers from teams, and I know whomever he chooses will be damned glad they brought him it.
    Good luck Mark.

  48. ijr213 says: May 1, 2011 12:01 PM

    Mark Herzlich, the next James Harrison. Except not crazy like Harrison. He’ll be the next great player to go undrafted. Let’s end this lockout now so this kid can start showing the world what’s up.

  49. finfanjim says: May 1, 2011 1:32 PM

    I know fans of all 32 teams are clamoring for this guy. He has 1st round talent and he has 1st round drive. Just because he’s not there yet, not taking him was a foolish mistake.

    This guy is a stud and bonafide LB…

  50. dienavinjohnson says: May 1, 2011 2:00 PM

    It’s going to take at least a year for Herzlich to get back to full stength. If there’s a team that can afford to wait on that they should jump on him as a rookie free agent.

  51. tr975 says: May 1, 2011 5:32 PM

    dienavinjohnson says:

    It’s going to take at least a year for Herzlich to get back to full stength. If there’s a team that can afford to wait on that they should jump on him as a rookie free agent.
    ———————————-
    I agree with what you said in the first part, about it taking time for him to get back to full strength.

    However, there are at least 2 players that come to mind immediately who were drafted that are in the same situation as Herzlich: Bruce Carter and Greg Romeus. During the draft, the people on NFL Network were basically saying that both players were drafted for next season because they would likely contribute nothing or next-to-nothing this season because of coming back from injuries. Carter was taken in the 2nd and Romeus in the 7th. Carter was probably rated higher than Herzlich pre-injury, but Romeus and Herzlich were probably pretty closely rated to each other, maybe Herzlich a little higher.

    Now, why would a team draft Carter and Romeus, knowing that this year is basically gone, but they have them controlled for the following year when they might come back to full strength, yet all the teams ignore Herzlich in the same regard, and now have to compete with each other to try to sign him instead of drafting him in the 7th like Romeus and controlling his rights? By doing that, it would eliminate any possibility of another team swooping in and signing him as an UDFA away from a team that has interest.

    I just don’t understand how, out of all of the high profile and highly ranked players with injury concerns, Herzlich was the only one not to get drafted.

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