It may not have happened the way Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich originally envisioned it would, but that didn’t make signing a rookie free agent contract with the New York Giants on Tuesday any less sweet.
An exuberant Herzlich announced that he was reuniting with former Boston College coach, Tom Coughlin, via his Twitter account.
“The support has been unbelievable, keep it coming and I want to be a Giant.”
The 23-year-old had a bumpy road to this point. After being named the ACC 2008 defensive player of the year, Herzlich had his world turned upside down when he was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer in his left leg – Ewing’s sarcoma. He subsequently missed the following year, only to come back strong last season.
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“We are excited to give him an opportunity to see if he can make it in this league,” said Giants chief executive and co-owner John Mara. “He’s a great kid who has obviously been through a lot. I’m in favor of the signing and, in fact, I suggested it. We think of him as a prospect.”
Herzlich knows that he can make a difference with this team, and he isn’t shy when it comes to admitting it.
“They’re a team that needs linebackers. It’s a great opportunity for me to get in and play and be on a team,” Herzlich said during a recent interview with ESPN.
Herzlich recorded 97 tackles, 1 ½ sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 2008. When he returned in 2010, he put up 65 tackles, two forced fumbles and four interceptions in 13 games played.
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