Phillylacrosse.com, posted 11/11/09
Former Conestoga lacrosse standout Mark Herzlich, the popular Boston College linebacker who has missed the entire 2009 football season while undergoing successful treatment for cancer, has been chosen to receive an honorary Lott Trophy.
The announcement was made last week by the Board of Directors of The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation, sponsors of the award.
It is only the second time an honorary Lott Trophy has been awarded, the first going to the family of Pat Tillman in 2004. Tillman, the former college and NFL standout, volunteered for the military and was killed in Afghanistan.
“Mark Herzlich represents all that is good in today’s student-athlete and epitomizes what we look for in Lott Trophy candidates,” said John Hamilton, Chairman of the Board of the IMPACT Foundation. “His perseverance, attitude and good works are an inspiration to all of us who love college football.”
Herzlich, a senior from Wayne who was star attackman at Conestoga who had scholarships offers to Division I colleges in both lacrosse and football. He chose BC for football and was the Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year last season and also an Academic all-conference selection. He led Boston College in tackles with 113 and had six interceptions. He was a quarter-finalist for The Lott Trophy in 2008 and on the Watch List for 2009.
This past spring, Herzlich, a Finance major projected by many to be an early-round NFL draft pick if he had left school early, was back home in Wayne when he felt pain in his leg. A biopsy showed he had Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of cancer found in bone or soft tissue.
Herzlich, who has one season of college eligibility left, was initially told by doctors that he would not be able to play football again. But Herzlich said he hopes to play for Boston College in 2010 and possibly in the NFL after college.
Last month, Herzlich was on ESPN’s “College GameDay” set, as his Eagles teammates prepared to host Florida State Seminoles. Before a large crowd, that included his parents, his teammates and BC fans, he announced that his cancer was 99 percent gone and that he had just three more radiation and chemo treatments to endure.
He plans to play next year after strengthening the leg and getting a rod inserted to balance damage incurred from the treatments. Named after Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, the Lott Trophy is awarded to college football’s Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. Now in its sixth year, the Lott Trophy is the first college football award to equally recognize athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player.
Sponsored by The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation in Newport Beach, the award is given to the player who exhibits the same characteristics Lott embodied during his distinguished career: Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.
Past winners of The Lott Trophy:
2004 – David Pollack, Georgia
2005 – DeMeco Ryans, Alabama
2006 – Dante Hughes, California
2007 – Glenn Dorsey, LSU
2008 – James Laurinaitis, Ohio State
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Named after Pro Football Hall of Fame member, Ronnie Lott, The Lott Trophy is awarded to college football’s Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. Founded in 2004 by The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation, The Lott Trophy is the first and only college football award to equally recognize athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player. The Lott Trophy is given to the player who exhibits the same characteristics Lott embodied during his distinguished career: Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.