PA star linebacker talks about Vanderbilt

Berwyn (Pa.) defensive end Mark Herzlich talked to Allen Wallace of about why he likes Vanderbilt and other schools. Herzlich has great size, excellent speed, super strength and great intelligence.

Berwyn (Pa.) defensive end Mark Herzlich (6-4, 245, 4.7) has offers from Boston College and Vanderbilt. He says that Boston College, Penn State, Vanderbilt, Stanford, Pittsburgh and Michigan State are his major schools of interest.

"My leaders right now are Boston College and Vanderbilt because they've already offered me, so I've got more interest in them than the other schools right now," said Herzlich, from Conestoga High School. "That might change though depending on what other schools are going to offer me.

"Boston College was the first school to offer me right after the Elite combine in New Jersey on May 4. I've already been up there a few times this past year. I really like how the coaches interact with the players over there. They all seem to have some great relationships, and that's big to me. I like their campus a lot and I know that I could get a good education there. That's what makes me lean towards them.

"Vanderbilt has been one of those programs that's been kind of down for the last couple of years, and the coaches there are really pushing to turn that program around," he said. "It would great to be a part of a program on the rise. I've spoken with coaches (Charlie) Fisher (wide receivers) and (David) Turner (defensive line) from there and I think that they're really great guys. I look forward to seeing their campus, and I think it would be a great place to go.

"I'm also in contact with the coaches at Penn State, Stanford, Pittsburgh and Michigan State. I also really like North Carolina State, Duke, North Carolina and Minnesota. I've talked extensively with the coaches at Penn State. Hopefully, they'll offer me when I get there for their camp. I think it would be a good fit for me.

"Coach (Jeff) Stoutland (offensive line) from Michigan State has sold the school nicely to me and I also look forward to seeing what they're all about.

"North Carolina is always a great team and it would be great to play there because of the nice warm weather," he said.

"A lot of college coaches see me playing defensive end because they think that I'll grow out of my size for being a linebacker. I don't have any preference towards a position in college, just as long as I'm able to get out there and play," said Herzlich.

This summer Herzlich has plans to take in camps at both Boston College and Penn State. He also said that he will unofficially visit Pittsburgh, Stanford, North Carolina State, North Carolina, Duke, Michigan State and Vanderbilt.

"Ideally, I'd like to commit to a school between mid-August to mid-September, but if things don't fall into place, I'll probably wait until later to make that decision," he said.

"I think I'll really be able to narrow down my list to five schools after I take all of these visits."

He has attended JR Days at both Boston College and Penn State and was also at Penn State's Blue and White game.

"I'm good at assessing a play quickly while it's happening and filling the hole is one of my primary concerns. My size and speed also help me run down ballcarriers real well. I want to work on my footwork more and get down my pass drops. I also want to fill the hole faster and tackle the ballcarrier more in the backfield. I also want to get my speed up."

Final JR (10-1) stats: 143 tackles/30 solos/4 sacks/3 INTs; Bench: 360/Vert Jump: 29" Top Stories