Bernard Talks Future

Inside Carolina
Posted Oct 30, 2012


CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – It was only a matter of time before Gio Bernard started fielding questions about his NFL aspirations and just how long he would play for North Carolina.

Following Saturday’s dynamic performance (304 all-purpose yards, 3 TD) in Saturday’s come-from-behind victory over N.C. State, the red-shirt sophomore leads the country in all-purpose yards average (214.0) and punt return average (20.8), while ranking third nationally in rushing yards per game (132.9).

On Tuesday, an ESPN.com NFL draft analyst listed Bernard as the top running back prospect in the 2013 draft with a mid-second round grade.

Given that level of success and national attention, it was inevitable that Bernard would have to answer questions about the NFL sooner or later, but it didn’t stop the Davie, Fla. product from laughing when asked about his future following practice on Tuesday.

“I’m going to be real with you guys – I haven’t even thought about it,” Bernard said. “People were even talking about it before the season started. For me, I’ve told myself, I’ve told everybody that I’m not going to think about it until after the season. And if things are right, if things look good for me, I may go, I may not. I don’t know what it is, but for me, I want to get my education, of course. That’s the biggest thing; that’s the first thing.

“You never know what can happen in football. You see [Marcus] Lattimore… it’s crazy things like that can happen. I want to get my education. I don’t know if that’s your answer, but it’s mine.”

Lattimore, a South Carolina standout, suffered a horrific season-ending knee injury on Saturday against Tennessee. Bernard acknowledged that Lattimore’s injury helps him appreciate “in a sense” how fleeting a career in football can be.

Bernard sat out the 2010 season due to a torn right ACL and missed two games earlier this season due to an undisclosed left knee injury.

“For the most part, I just want to be able to do what I can here and enjoy my time here while it lasts,” Bernard said. “I don’t know when it’s going to be. If God lets me, I can leave; if not, I’m still here. So whatever happens, happens.”

NFL policy requires that a player be three years removed from high school before entering the draft, so while Bernard is only a sophomore eligibility-wise, he’s currently in his third year of college and therefore will be able to forgo his final two seasons at UNC if he chooses to do so.

Follow IC on Twitter @InsideCarolina.
Like IC on Facebook InsideCarolina.


Related Stories
Photo Reel: Bernard's Punt Return
 -by InsideCarolina.com  Oct 30, 2012
Larry Fedora Radio Show Quotes
 -by InsideCarolina.com  Oct 31, 2012
Wednesday Larry Fedora Quotes
 -by InsideCarolina.com  Oct 31, 2012

Inside Carolina's Official Online Store:
johnnytshirt.com


Get the Inside Carolina Magazine!
THIS MONTH

April
The glossy, monthly magazine includes top-notch features, analysis and fantastic photos.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO ON THE IC MAG
NEXT MONTH

Spring

MAGAZINE COVERAGE
Subscribe today to the Inside Carolina Magazine, our glossy monthly publication covering Tar Heel sports!
Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from InsideCarolina.com. Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a list of all Team Newsletters.

Add Topics to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite topics. Click link to add to My HotList.
Football > North Carolina
[View My HotList]