Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich is no stranger to setbacks in his college football career. The Senior was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, at the end of his Junior year in May 2009. He was subsequently treated, and is now ready to return to the field for the Eagles just over a year after being diagnosed.
Usually, the best online sportsbooks tend to keep track of injuries, and adjust their lines accordingly.
This summer, Herzlich suffered an injury that will keep him off the practice field for an unspecified amount of time. A stress fracture in his right foot will sideline the line backer at least until the season opener against Weber State. If the injury does not heal because of complications from his treatment, it could be longer before the Senior can run onto the turf of Alumni Stadium.
“There’s no jumping into it too soon, so we’re going to be overly cautious with it and make sure that it gets fully healed because the last thing we want to do is come back too soon and have it kind of linger throughout the season,” Herzlich said Friday during the team’s media day.
Herzlich played in all 13 games for the Eagles as a freshman. He was named a college football news All-American after recording 42 tackles, including five for a loss, and one sack. The linebacker increased his numbers in his sophomore season with 97, 1 1/2 quarterback sacks, four pass breakups, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries.
NCAA football betting trends favored the Eagles with their young linebacker wreaking havoc in the ACC.
In his Junior season, Herzlich was a finalist for the Lott Trophy and Butkus Awards. He earned ACC defensive player of the year in 2008, then was forced to sit out 2009 because of his illness. The BC standout is considered by most NFL scouts to be in the top 50 prospects when he enters the draft.
Six weeks ago, Herzlich suffered the injury in team workouts. The break has been diagnosed as a stress fracture, and if all goes well, the linebacker is expected to return to the field before the season opener.
“It’s frustrating, but I obviously have dealt with much worse than a foot fracture,” Herzlich said. “Whatever it is, it’s sidelining me right now. I just need to try to get back. It’s another thing to hurdle.”
Head coach Frank Spaziani knows how much his Senior leader wants to be on the field, and is making sure they are doing everything the doctors order to ensure that happens.
“I’m frustrated for Mark because I know what this means to him and what he’s trying to accomplish,” Spaziani said. “When you cannot assist like you think you want to assist, there’s a little bit of that frustration. I understand his frustration and we have to just take it as it comes, but I think we’ll be fine and it will be that much sweeter when he gets to the goals.”
Bodog sportsbook has set the Eagles as heavy underdogs to win the 2011 BCS National Championship even with Herzlich on the field at 125/1 odds.