If they can make it here, they can make it anywhere.
The 2011 New York Giants roster is littered with players who got their start in Massachusetts.
The most notable member of the group is linebacker Mark Herzlich, who seemed destined to be a first-round selection in the NFL draft while he was the (painted) face of the Boston College football program.
But following his junior season, the linebacker with the nonstop motor was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma (a form of bone cancer). His recovery was arduous but he returned to play out his senior season at BC after sitting out the entire 2009 season. Though his skills were diminished, he felt as though he would be selected in the 2011 NFL draft.
Through seven rounds, however, not one NFL team bet on Herzlich.
As soon as the NFL lockout ended, however, Herzlich got the call from the Giants. He not only ended up making the team, but he posted 12 tackles on the year for the NFC champions and started in a Week 11 game against the Eagles.
It’s been a reflective week for the former Boston College star but he is looking forward to game action in Sunday’s Super Bowl.
“2 yrs ago I was told I might never walk again,” Herzlich tweeted this week. “Just WALKED off plane in Indy to play in The #SuperBowl #TakeThatSh—Cancer.”
A look at Giants players with ties to the commonwealth:
Boston College has become a feeder system for Big Blue as return man Will Blackmon, linebacker Mark Herzlich, linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka, guard Chris Snee and head coach Tom Coughlin all saw time at The Heights.
Cruz-in USA Wide receiver Victor Cruz had a breakout season for the Giants in 2011 and got his start at UMass-Amherst.
Family tree Linebacker and long snapper Zak DeOssie is from North Andover and his father, Steve, played with the Giants and Pats in the NFL.