GREENSBORO, N.C.--Mark Herzlich talked about the excitement and anticipation of resuming his college football career and Anthony Castonzo talked about how he was not only preparing for his college football season, but of dealing with the added duties of preparing his material for a possible Rhodes Scholarship nomination.
Both Herzlich, the Boston College linebacker who missed last season because of a rare form of bone cancer, and Castonzo, the All ACC offensive tackle, who hopes to bring a more defined definition of the term "student-athlete'' were here this weekend at the 2010 Atlantic Coast Conference kick-off meetings, with stories to tell.
Herzlich, of course, has drawn the most attention, dealing with Ewing's Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer which sidelined him last season and put not only his football career, but his life in jeopardy.
This weekend the senior Eagle linebacker, now cancer free, talked with the media about the trials and tribulations of the last year. He is now cancer free, after a series of chemo therapy and radiation treatments as well as an operation in which doctors inserted a titanium rod in his leg in which the cancerous tumor was discovered last spring.
The only real question concerning Herzlich, who has been practicing and working out for the past 8 months is how he responds to contract. BC head coach Frank Spaziani and the BC medical staff kept Herzlich out of contact drills during the spring.
But now we are into phase two. The BC football squad reports to camp on August 8th, with practice the next day and the first day in pads on Friday August 13th, with a scrimmage on August 14th.
"What happens, happens,'' said Herzlich as he went round after round of media interviews, wanting to hear his story. He then followed that the next day by playing a round of golf in the annual media golf outing. "Great time,'' said Herzlich. "A lot of fun.''
For Castonzo, the trip was a break from a session working on preparing a thesis he will submit to the Rhodes Scholarship selection committee. "I'll work on that ,'' he said. "And I still have to put together a resume on my accomplishments and then go through a series of interviews, which will probably begin sometime after Labor Day. It's going to be a busy fall.''
Former BC offensive coordinator Dana Bible, who went to North Carolina State with former BC coach Tom O'Brien, is now in remission from the cancer which sidelined him last season ."We've talked a few times,''said Herzlich. "That's great news.''
ACC commissioner John Swofford in his annual State of the ACC talk talked about the growing problem of agents on college campuses and said he would like the NFL and the NBA players association with help on sanctioning agents to make improper and illegal offers to college students.
- Michael Vega
- Mark Blaudschun
- Nancy Marrapese-Burrell