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On Thursday Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich joined 24 of the nation’s best prospects at the Radio City Music Hall for the first day of the NFL Draft.
Unlike his 24 counterparts, Herzlich’s name wasn’t one of the 254 selected to play in the NFL.
However, Herzlich will be playing football next season, if he chooses to that is. Herzlich was selected in the 10th round of the United Football League draft by the Omaha Nighthawks.
In a non-NFL lockout season, teams are able to sign undrafted free agents to fill out their roster. However, with the current state of the NFL, teams cannot have contact with free agent players.
With that being the case, the UFL has taken advantage. Along with Herzlich, other notable players drafted by the UFL include Jerrod Johnson, Ryan Colburn and Jeremiah Masoli.
To officially join their UFL team, players must sign a contract, thus making them inactive to join the NFL for the duration of that time. According to ESPN, Delaware quarterback Pat Delvin, the most coveted prospect by the league, decided to pass on the opportunity to play in the UFL as the league wanted Devlin to immediately sign a contract.
It’s uncertain what direction Herzlich will go in. On one side, Herzlich is guaranteed a contract and the ability to play somewhere next season with the UFL. Meanwhile, does he really have a future in the NFL? Teams passed on Herzlich multiple times, so a future in the NFL may be unlikely.
At Boston College, Herzlich recorded a total of 314 tackles in four seasons. But, it’s what Herzlich overcame that has put a lot of people in the Wayne, Pa. native’s corner. Herzlich was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, on May 14, 2009. Through struggle and determination Herzlich defied all odds and defeated the cancer in September 2010.
Sports Illustrated senior writer Peter King has shown his support of Herzlich via Twitter.
“If you’ve got it in you tonight, how about peppering the undrafted cancer survivor, @markherzlich, with some hang-in-there Tweets. Thanks.”
No matter where Herzlich plays next season and ultimately for his career, he seems determined. If we all know by now that if he’s determined, Herzlich can do ANYTHING.
“I have been told that I can’t play football before. We all know what happened with that,” Herzlich tweeted.
Follow me on Twitter: @M_Marcantonio