Local Hero Mark Herzlich Featured in NFL Series “Everything to Prove”

Mark Herzlich while playing for Boston College.

In May of 2009 while playing football for Boston College. Pennsylvania native, Mark Herzlich learned that he had developed a rare form of bone cancer known as Ewing’s Sarcoma. Herzlich was preparing for what was to be his senior season at Boston College and few doubted that his football career would last beyond that into the NFL.

Herzlich, a linebacker, made an impact right away in college. He played in every game as a true freshman in route to being named College Football News’ Freshman All American. In 2008 Herzlich was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year and was a first team All American. Herzlich was a highly touted prospect heading into the 2009 NFL Draft, but he declined to enter the draft to return to BC for another season.

In September of 2009, Herzlich announced that he beat what he described as his toughest opponent, cancer. Herzlich was successful in returning to the field in 2010 for Boston College. He was named the “Most Courageous Athlete” by the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association at a banquet that I was lucky enough to attend. Herzlich’s speech that evening resonated with every journalist, coach and athlete in the room. It was truly a special moment for an athlete who had overcome so much.

Mark Herzlich leading his Boston College Teammates onto the field.

Herzlich’s next step was to prepare to continue pursuing his dream of playing in the NFL. He was available for selection in the 2011 NFL Draft but no NFL team took a chance on him. With the current lockout in place, Herzlich has not had an opportunity to sign on with an NFL team and was drafted by a UFL franchise. He declined to join in hopes of getting an NFL contract as soon as signing can begin.  

Herzlich continues to workout and train in preparation for a shot in the NFL. He is currently being featured in the series “Everything to Prove” which is being made by NFL Films in conjunction with Gatorade. “Everything to Prove” is a series of web episodes which follow the lives of NFL rookies during this uncertain off-season. Herzlich can be seen in this episode,  http://bit.ly/kyPJ76 which highlights how he is coping with waiting for his NFL chance. You can catch up on all the episodes in the series at NFL.com/EverythingToProve.

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