UNC's Gio Bernard is Heading to the NFL - SCACCHoops.com

UNC's Gio Bernard is Heading to the NFL

   Posted by Tar Heel Fan at  12/14/2012 9:36:55 AM  |  Follow us on Twitter: @scacchoops
Discuss     Bookmark and Share

UNC made the announcement Friday morning with quotes from Bernard and head coach Larry Fedora.

"I thoroughly enjoyed my three years in Chapel Hill and coming to UNC was one of the best decisions I've ever made," said Bernard. "I feel like the best decision for my future is to enter the NFL draft this year. I want to thank Coach Fedora, this coaching staff and the previous coaching staff for putting me in a position to succeed. I am on track to graduate and I plan on coming back to earn my degree in the Spring of 2014."

The nation's top punt returner, Bernard averaged 16.4 yards per return and scored two touchdowns. He had a memorable 74-yard punt return touchdown to win the NC State game and snap the Wolfpack's five-game winning streak in the series. He was named the national player of the week for his performance against NC State.

"Gio is a special player and an even better person," said Fedora. "He flourished in our offense and was an outstanding leader for our program. After the season was over, we helped him gather as much information as possible so he and his family could make the best decision for his future. We support his decision and wish him nothing but success as he takes the next step in his football career. He is a tremendous ambassador for this program."

Bernard is one of those players(like Kendall Marshall) who we were in awe of watching him play and saddened a little as fans it was only for two years. Bernard had that "wow" capability from his ridiculous speed to his video game spin moves which often left you rewinding the DVR to see it again and again. His numbers in two years time were outstanding. As a redshirt freshman he ran for 1253 yards which is a freshman season record. He followed that up this season with 1228 yards and an ACC best 122.8 yard per game in only 10 contests. A sprained knee kept him out of two games but when he returned he was electric putting up 262 yards in a win over Virginia Tech and 177 yards to beat Miami in Coral Gables. However, it was that afternoon against NC State that took Bernard from one in a long line of good UNC running backs to legendary status when this happened.

Not only did Bernard have 301 all-purpose yards in this game but prior to the punt Roy Smith was on the field to return the kick. Bernard had injured his foot earlier in the game and was taken off of punt returns but came on to see if he could make something happen. A great wall by his blockers and his incredible speed combined for one of the iconic moments in recent Kenan Stadium history.

As for the decision to leave now, it is absolutely the right move and should surprise no one. Given the shelf life of the average running back, Bernard should go get paid now while all of his ligaments are intact. Besides, he has already missed one season with a torn ACL and two games in 2012 with a sprain to the other knee. There have also been other nagging injuries so no one should begrudge Bernard for going to get his while his stock is high and he is injury free. Yes, as fans we would love a third season of Bernard who would undoubtedly have Heisman buzz around him. Alas it was just not meant to be.

Best of luck to Bernard as he moves on. By all accounts his demeanor and character off the field matches his skills on it and he will be a great representative of UNC as he moves to the next level.

 

This article was originally published at http://tarheelblog.com. If you are interested in sharing your website's content with SCACCHoops.com, Contact Us.

 

Post a Comment About this Article
Entry Link     0 Comment(s)
Subscribe  

There are currently no posts for this NewsBreaker


Post a Comment

Posting As:   Remember Me?
Subject:
Message:

Before submitting this form, please type the color of the third character:


Search
Search
Advertisement
 
Poll
How many bowl games will the ACC win?
3 or fewer
4
5
6
7
8 or more


Newsbreakers
Irish Beat Purdue 94-63 in Crossroads Classic
12/20/2014 9:12:07 PM
Pitt defeats Oakland 81-77 in Overtime
12/20/2014 9:11:03 PM
UNC 82 Ohio State 74
12/20/2014 9:09:43 PM
Villanova tops Syracuse 82-77 in Overtime
12/20/2014 9:08:40 PM
Montrezl Harrell Ejected, But Louisville Still Takes Care Of Western Kentucky
12/20/2014 9:07:24 PM
ACC Morning Linkfest 12/20/2014 with Game Sim Predictions
12/20/2014 7:01:31 AM
Virginia takes down Cleveland State
12/19/2014 9:45:30 PM
Takeaways from Duke's win over UConn
12/19/2014 10:05:34 AM
Game Sim's college football Bowl Week 1 predictions
12/19/2014 9:56:29 AM
2014 Bowl Season Primer, Part 1
12/19/2014 9:46:43 AM
Duke Slugs it Out With UConn, wins 66-56
12/18/2014 10:06:36 PM
Akoy Agau to transfer from Louisville
12/18/2014 4:36:40 PM
Roy Williams Press Conference: Fear Edition
12/18/2014 4:36:10 PM
UNC 2014-15 vs 2013-14 Through Ten Games
12/18/2014 12:19:22 PM
ACC Morning Linkfest 12/18/2014 with Game Sim Predictions
12/18/2014 7:53:21 AM
Message Board
 
YBN Widget
RSS Feed  
SCACC Hoops has no affiliation to the NCAA or the ACC
Team logos are trademarks of their respective organizations (more/credits)