FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 1: Mark Herzlich #58 of the New York Giants keeps eyes on the offense during a game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on September 1, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Let's take a break from the BC- Northwestern pity party and talk about some good news.
At this point we all know Mark Herzlich's story. Dominant 2008 ACC Defensive Player of the Year, diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma, kicks cancers butt, returns to BC and doesn't get drafted. After the lockout ended the New York Giants were the winners of the Mark Herzlich sweepstakes, giving him the chance to make it in the NFL.
"Herzlich didn't bat an eye the whole camp," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said Saturday. "Physically, he did everything you asked and more. I saw him improve literally week by week. He can play multiple positions. He's very smart. He does an outstanding job on special teams. He's told one time and he goes and does it. He deserves it."
He had a pretty solid preseason too, recording one interception and sacking Ryan Mallett in his final preseason tuneup against the Pats. Even as a diehard Patriots fan, I am very happy for Herzlich. No one deserves this shot more than him. Just to see the excitement from his family is heartwarming as well. Families of cancer patients deal with so much, and for them to watch their son making an NFL team is great.
"It's been a series of starts and stops," the elder Herzlich said. "Mark played great at BC, then he got sick. He fired it back up again and had a really good senior year, but then he doesn't get drafted. The NFL has a lockout, but then he signed as a free agent. It felt like constant starting and stopping, but we never lost confidence that he was a great football player, and he deserves everything happening to him."
You can't teach a player instincts and brains, and lord knows Mark Herzlich is filled with both. He seems to get stronger and stronger every week, and catching onto the Giants defensive system. I still think he is going to have a big NFL career, and we all will be hearing his name in highlight reels for years to come.
Even if our current BC team is disappointing us, we can now smile at one of the greatest success stories to ever come out of BC Athletics. Best of luck Mark, you make us all proud.