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Giants Sign Boston College Linebacker Herzlich, Cancer Survivor

The New York Giants signed Mark Herzlich, a former Boston College linebacker and bone-cancer survivor, as a free agent after he went undrafted in April, according to his Twitter account.

Herzlich, 23, announced the signing this morning, saying he was excited to join the National Football League team. Giants spokesman Pat Hanlon said in an e-mail that he couldn’t officially confirm Herzlich’s posting.

The 2008 Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year, Herzlich was diagnosed in 2009 with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare bone cancer. Told by doctors that he might never play football again, Herzlich sat out in 2009 while undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment, and returned to play his senior season last year, recording 65 tackles with four interceptions.

“I’m going to be a force on the field wherever I am placed,” Herzlich said today in a televised interview on ESPN. “Whenever I get on the field it’s going to be intensity, it’s going to be aggression.”

The NFL’s free-agency period began today, one day after owners and players agreed on a 10-year labor agreement, ending a four-month shutdown. Starting this morning teams can begin signing drafted and undrafted rookies, and negotiate with free agents.

Herzlich joins other former Boston College Eagles in New York, including coach Tom Coughlin, guard Chris Snee and defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka, now a free agent. Herzlich wore Kiwanuka’s No. 94 at Boston College after Kiwanuka joined the Giants.

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