|Rob Gronkowski Cleared to Play for Patriots||Dustin Pedroia grants wish of 12-year old boy||2014 Patriots Offensive Line Preview: Solder, Mankins, Stork, Cannon, Vollmer||Bill Belichick Coaching Elsewhere? Albert Breer Stirs the Speculation Pot|
BC star linebacker Mark Herzlich, who is sitting out this season while battling Ewing’s Sarcoma, was named as one of the 16 finalists for the Dick Butkus Award, honoring the nation’s top linebacker. Herzlich is the reigning ACC Defensive Player of the Year and was a finalist for the award last season, losing out to Wake Forest’s Aaron Curry.
The nomination is more sentimental than performance based considering he has not, and will not, play a down this season, however it highlights the off field facets of the honor: being a role model and working to give back to the community. Herzlich recently stated that he is 99.9% cancer free and is expecting to be back on the field in the fall, defeating a disease that not only threatened his playing career, but his life. He has raised over $80,000 this season, via the BC Chapter of Uplifting Athletes, to go toward research on the disease. He has received checks from each of BC’s ACC opponents this season: Clemson, Wake Forest, Florida State, and Virginia Tech.