Back in black

This article appears in the Aug. 9 issue of ESPN The Magazine.

Mark Herzlich was a great player.

People say that a lot. As if having been told I have cancer means I'm done.

That's not how I see it. I don't just want to play for Boston College again. I want to be good enough to win the Butkus Award. I want NFL teams to remember that in 2009 they saw me as a first-round prospect.

All the things I "was"? That's what I want to be.