Can Mark Herzlich Win the Heisman?

Eagle in Atlanta makes a compelling case for why Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich has a shot at history if he ends up making an epic comeback from cancer.

If he is better than his ACC Defensive Player of the Year season, he will win the Heisman. That’s not hyperbole. Regardless of my BC allegiance, I believe that after the Reggie Bush nonsense, the media/Heisman voters would trip over each other in a rush to mail in their ballots for the All America, cancer-conquering linebacker from a BCS conference. The hype and pride surrounding his recovery would quadruple if Mark plays that well. No other candidate would stand a chance.

There typically aren’t many scenarios where I could imagine a defensive player winning the Heisman.  But I have to admit that this type of heroic hypothetical might do the trick. 

If Herzlich exceeds the season he had in 2008, when he totaled 110 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 6 interceptions (with two returned for TDs), 8 pass breakups, 2 forced fumbles and 2 recovered fumbles…then he’d walk away with the Butkus and most likely be on his way to New York.

Could he win?  Well…that’s a lot to ask for and obviously quite a few pieces have to fall into place.  If he picks up momentum late in the season and no other candidates are running away with it, he’d have a shot.

I know that quite a few people will be rooting for him just to make it through the season.  Even getting back onto the field in the first place is quite a story.  If he were to find a way to excel again, it would be amazing.  And compelling.

Here’s hoping this Eagle soars again.

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Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of, a site dedicated to analysis of the Heisman Trophy and college football. Dubbed “the foremost authority on the Heisman” by Sports Illustrated, HP is regularly quoted or cited during football season in newspapers across the country. He is also a regular contributor on sports talk radio and television.

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2 Responses to Can Mark Herzlich Win the Heisman?

  1. Gizmo August 4, 2010 at 9:42 am #

    If anyone were to get the nod as a “feel good” candidate, I think it would be Ricky Dobbs. Being an all-around great guy is certainly different from beating cancer, but Dobbs provides the most direct contrast to Reggie Bush in my opinion (leader, student-athlete, military service, stated desire to be president one day,etc.). He has the advantage of playing on the offensive side of the ball, and as a QB in Navy’s system people will see him as directly responsible their success (or lack thereof).

    That being said, Herzlich is a great story and it’s great to see him healthy and playing again. I’d love to see both in the Heisman race at the end of the year.

  2. AUman76 August 4, 2010 at 9:42 pm #

    Not just no but HELL NO! Hold on folks…nuthin against the you man and his desire and ability to play again is a better reward than any trophy even the Heisman. It’s the position he plays that automaticly rules him out. If all the great defensive LB’s from the past 30 or 40 years didn’t win the award then he certainly won’t. Noit to be mean spirited but voters won’t select anyone based on past medical issuses they will however select a slightly above average player from a brand name team or a BCS Championship contender. BC is a pretty good program but it isn’t a BCS challenger yet. I do hope the kid has a great season and an even better life filled with many years and success.