Tag:Mark Herzlich
Posted on: August 21, 2010 2:40 pm

Best to temper expectations for Herzlich/Cooper

The advances in medicine, technology and rehabilitation of athletes has grown exponentially over the past ten years. So much so, that it is often easy to expect too much too soon of athletes recovering from severe injury.

I'm as guilty of it as anyone. I placed Boston College outside linebacker Mark Herzlich in my initial 2011 first round mock draft * before he'd taken a single snap following his successful recovery from Ewing's sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.

Herzlich and Miami running back Graig Cooper -- who is attempting to play this season despite suffering a torn ACL in his right knee only six months ago in the Champs Sports Bowl -- are inspirational stories. Their dedication and spectacular talent make them two of the easiest players in the country to root for.

Herzlich, as has been widely reported , is already struggling in his return to the field. It isn't the cancer -- he recently underwent tests to confirm the cancer is gone and passed -- but a fractured right foot that is now the problem. It had been incorrectly reported elsewhere that Herzlich's broken foot was somehow connected to the cancer that had been discovered in his left leg. That isn't the case his mother, Sandy, told Steve Conroy of BostonHerald.com. 

Conroy quotes Herzlich's mother as saying, "The two (the cancer and the broken foot) are completely unrelated."

Still, the broken foot has kept Herzlich off the field. He hopes to return to the practice field the week before Boston College opens their season against Weber State September 4. The Eagles coaches will no doubt be anxious to reward Herzlich for his dedication with early playing time, but it simply isn't realistic to think he is going to step onto the field and immediately revert back to the form that helped him capture the 2008 ACC Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Similarly, it isn't fair to assume that Miami's Cooper will have the same speed and agility this year that he'd shown throughout his impressive career with the Hurricanes. While Cooper has remained adament that he plans to play in every game this season, Miami coaches are still easing him into practice. Cooper, according to reports , has seen time on the practice field, but is limited to drills and has not participated in any true scrimmaging.

Prior to their injuries, these two ACC stars would have ranked among NFLDraftScout.com's top 32 seniors for the 2011 draft. Perhaps they'll prove - with time - worthy of that grade again.

But for now, let's simply acknowledge the spectacular recovery each has already shown and be sure that our expectations for their play in 2010 is realistic.

* One editor's note on my initial 2011 mock draft linked to above. While the date on the article says July 12, in actuality I wrote this within 48 hours of the conclusion of the 2010 draft. With significantly more scouting completed since that time, there are plenty of updates that will soon be made.
Posted on: July 23, 2010 8:09 pm

Some notes after reviewing the ACC

Fellow Senior Analyst Chad Reuter and I have been busy the past month reviewing film of the 2010 senior prospects. Chad, as always, is ahead of me and has been steadily producing finished player profiles already in preparation for our 2010 NFL Draft Preview.

I've completed scouting reports for approximately 50 prospects; most of them coming from the SEC, ACC and Pac-10 Conferences.

I've been working on these reports while tracking the NCAA's sudden focus on agent-related benefits potentially being given to NCAA players. I recognize that the story is a huge one, but quite frankly, I wanted to finally present a blog post about actual football, and not just more off-field concerns.

Thus, here are some of my general thoughts based after film review of some of the ACC's biggest names amongst senior prospects.

  • North Carolina, as I've mentioned in previous articles and blog posts, is ridiculously athletic. It is easy to get caught up with DT Marvin Austin or OLB Bruce Carter's athleticism, but the steady play of CB Kendric Burney and OLB Quan Sturdivant jumps off film, as well. I was a little disappointed, honestly, in free safety Deunta Williams... He may be a ballhawk, but the impressive UNC defense hides the fact that he plays a pretty finesse-brand of football...
  • How does Clemson lose C.J. Spiller and Jacoby Ford and look just as athletic on film? This year though the eye-popping talent is on the defensive side of the ball. DT Jarvis Jenkins really flashes on tape, as does cornerback Marcus Gilchrist. All-American DeAndre McDaniel may have enjoyed as good a first half of football as I've seen a safety have in some time against Kentucky in the Music Bowl...
  • Forget the theory that because Virginia cornerback Ras-I Dowling is 6-2 he can't play cornerback in the NFL. Dowling is impressive on film; reminiscient of former Utah Ute and current Miami Dolphin Sean Smith...
  • Miami defensive lineman Allen Bailey is one of the more fascinating stories in all of college football. The Canes' next first round defender was born and raised in a tiny village (approx. 80 people) called Hogs Hammock on Sapelo Island, approximately 15 miles off the coast of Georgia. He'll be wined and dined by agents and, later, NFL teams as they decide where he fits best in their scheme, but that may not be the best way to get to know this player. The residents of Hogs Hammock fish, hunt and gather shellfish for their meals and are appropriately proud to do so. So much so that once he and his family served a college recruitor a tasty dish... of raccoon .
  • Much has been made of BC linebacker Mark Herzlich's amazing recovery from Ewing's Sarcoma -- as it should. The fact that he's recovery is glorious in itself... but, boy, can this kid play the game too. Here's hoping that Herzlich, North Carolina State linebacker Nate Irving (who missed the 2009 season after a nearly-fatal car accident) and Miami running back Graig Cooper (who tore up his knee in the Champs Sports Bowl) are able to come back and thrill us again this season.

I'll post my thoughts on the SEC and Pac-10 in the coming days.

Posted on: June 12, 2010 10:14 am
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Posted on: August 26, 2009 2:32 pm

BC's Herzlich, doctors optimistic he could return

The tragic news that Boston College outside linebacker Mark Herzlich was found to have Ewings sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, may have a happy ending.

Though he still faces multiple rounds of chemotherapy, only a small tumor in his left femur was found by doctors in their latest tests, a marked improvement from this spring, when Herzlich announced his condition and that doctors didn't expect that he'd ever be able to play football again. The results of recent tests, however, have Herzlich and doctors cautiously optimistic that he might be able to return to Boston College in 2010 and possibly on to the NFL from there.

As he told ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach, "Things are going really well. The goal right now is to get rid of the tumor completely and to be healthy. That's the goal right now and they're encouraged that's what's going to happen."

Herzlich, the 2008 ACC Defensive Player of the Year, was viewed as one of the elite NFL prospects entering the season. In fact, National Football Scouting ranked him as the top overall prospect.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com