Albright to Herzlich: ‘Don’t do too much’
|08.13.10 at 6:59 pm ET|
CHESTNUT HILL — Much has been written and said about linebacker Mark Herzlich and his attempt this year to return from a rare form of bone cancer and play a red-shirt senior year for the Boston College Eagles.
What hasn’t gotten a lot of focus is the concern from his teammates who know how badly he wants back. Teammates like senior defensive end Alex Albright. The senior from St. Xavier high school in Cincinnati can see the desperation all over Herzlich’s face, especially since the news over the summer that he suffered a broken right foot, delaying his conditioning and his eventual return to the team.
“You can even see it when he was out there for the first practice, he wasn’t practicing but he was out there with his helmet,” Albright said. “He’s always antsy, he’s jumping around, he wants to be out there practicing. It’s difficult to watch. I’d rather him not jump back into it if he’s not 100 percent sure because there’s too much risk involved with something like that.”
It’s exactly for that reason that Albright knows Herzlich will push his limits to show he can return to his 2008 self, when he picked off six passes and dominated the ACC from his linebacker position on the Eagles defense, earning conference defensive player of the year honors.
“I just don’t want Mark to do too much,” Albright said with a tinge of fear. “I don’t want him to feel like he has to be like he was his junior year when he was Defensive Player of the Year. I don’t want him to feel like he has to do it all. I want him to just be a member of this defensive corps until he feels comfortable getting back into the swing of things.
“I just don’t want him to feel like he has this burden of expectation on himself where he feels like he has to come out and do everything. I just want him to take it slow. The last thing I want is for him to get injured again or something happen.”
But if Herzlich can return to his old self and join the likes of Albright and fellow St. Xavier high school product and ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year, Luke Keuchly, then BC could be going places. And Albright knows it.
“I think we expect to win every game, just as every team does,” he said. “I don’t think [expectations] too dissimilar from last year, though. We’re out here to prove people wrong. Last year, people picked us to win two games. This year, people picked us to finish fifth in the ACC or something. We want to be first. We always want to be first.We want to go to the Orange Bowl, we want to win the ACC. That’s our expectation, to go as far as we possibly can.”