If you aren't an avid college football fan, you have probably never heard of Mark Herzlich. Mark is a senior linebacker for Boston College and started all 12 games in the Eagles' seven win, five loss season. He is the 2008 ACC Defensive Player of the Year.
Mark Herzlich missed the 2009 season as he battled cancer and won.
In 2008, he made 110 tackles and six interceptions while leading Boston College to a 9-5 record.
I must admit, I never heard of Mark Herzlich, even as an avid college football fan, during the 2008 season. It wasn't until his story started getting out in the 2009 season that I took note. I remember Notre Dame honoring him among countless interviews and short television stories that aired on pregame shows and halftime breaks.
And while it seemed in all of those clips that Mark would fight and win, there seemed to be doubt about whether he would be able to regain the strength he would need to continue to play. All along, Mark planned on working as hard as he could to rejoin the Eagles. But the question was, is it possible.
Mark came back this year. For some, it may have been rewarding enough just to return to his team. It apparently wasn't for him. Mark recorded 60 tackles this year, which was good enough for third on the team, and four interceptions, which was good enough to tie for the second most.
And while Mark Herzlich isn't going to repeat and win the 2010 ACC Defensive Player of the Year award, he's already won something much more valuable.
A second chance and a new outlook on life.