Bernard receives first offer

Herriman High School is a new school that opened its doors for student registration last August in Herriman, Utah and just completed its first year. Despite last year being its introduction to prep football, Herriman was the first 5A football team in Utah to ever make the playoffs in its first year of football. One reason for the early success was running back Francis Bernard.

When asked about Francis Bernard, Coach Larry Wilson had nothing but high praise for his young Mustang both on and off the field.

"Francis is a high-GPA kid and he works hard in the weight room," said Wilson. "He comes in at around 5'11" and a quarter. He'll tell you he's six foot but he isn't, and I believe he's about 184 or 185 pounds right now.

"He started for me as a sophomore last year and was offered at BYU's camp," Coach Wilson continued. "On the practice field, he's very coachable and has a lot of athleticism and upside. Probably the two things I think a good running back has to have is good balance and vision, and I think he has both of those."

During the recent All-Poly Camp, Bernard easily and gracefully ran through position and team drills like a hungry Polynesian through an all-you-can-eat buffet line. He brushed aside the competition and dominated with the use of a wide array of talents.

"He's kind of a combination back," Coach Wilson said. "He can run inside fairly well and he's a kid that can get to the edge and hit a crease. He a kid that has a lot of wiggle.

Although Bernard is in possession of a lot of upside, Coach Wilson sees areas of his game that still need some improvement.

"The biggest challenge, I think, for him as he continues to learn and grow as a running back is identifying the situation, the type of play it is and then knowing what kind of runner he has to be," Coach Wilson said. "As a sophomore last year, sometimes he would dance in the hole and look to juke instead of getting to the second and third level before looking to do some moves. I think that kind of understanding comes with experience and maturity.

"He's tough enough where he could be a fullback. He has that kind of explosiveness and toughness inside. On top of that, he's a good pass receiver."

Not only does Bernard play running back for Coach Wilson's Mustang offense, but the fleet-footed athlete also doubles as a cornerback on defense.

"He's that kind of athlete where he can play on both sides of the ball, and I think he has a real future on both sides of the ball depending on what coaches are looking at," said Wilson.

Bernard has also tested fairly well in the weight room.

"For his age, he's a pretty strong kid," Wilson said. "We tested our players at the end of May, and Bernard currently has a 225-pound bench. He's a 335 squat and he's a 215 clean."

Not only did Bernard impress at the All-Poly Camp, but he also impressed coaches last week during BYU's summer camp. Although Bernard doubles as a running back and cornerback for Coach Wilson's Mustangs, BYU worked him out primarily at running back.

"BYU offered Francis after their camp," Coach Wilson said. "Coach Doman has been down here a few times and really likes him, so BYU has offered him and they probably had him tabbed at running back about 80 percent of the time at their camp. He could play different positions, but I think that's probably where they're looking at him to play."

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