For a man who won the 2008 ACC Defensive Player of the Year and was a finalist for last season's Butkus Award, it is easy to forget that he is human just like us.
That is why it makes it so much harder to hear that Mark Herzlich has been diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma, a form of cancer found in bone or soft tissue.
"Obviously, I was shocked," Mark said in a statement released by the school. "At this point, I do not know what this means for my football future, but I am determined to rid my body of this disease so that I can put that uniform back on."
He has spent most of his life battling on the field, proving to everyone he belongs and could have been a top 10 pick in this year’s NFL Draft if he had declared. But he stayed loyal to the school.
Mark is the leader of the team on the field, 110 tackles, six interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries, and off.
"Also, basically the type of role the coaches here have given me. The ability to be a leader without being a captain. Still giving me responsibilities and the ability to guide the players in ways that I see fit. It’s really helped me mature as a football player and a person off the field," said on his role.
Mark is a good man and it is tragic that something like this could happen. But he is not giving up hope.
"At this point, I do not know what this means for my football future, but I am determined to rid my body of this disease so that I can put that uniform back on," he said. "Thank you in advance for your prayers and concern. Together, we will fight this and win."
As of now he has returned to be with his family in Pennsylvania and to undergo more tests.
Good luck Mark. You will be in my prayers.