BYU matches up almost perfectly

BYU is actively recruiting a 2013 running back from the state of Utah that did very well during his junior season. A top All-Poly Camp performer, the Herriman High School running back already has an offer from BYU, a college he feels meets his expectations rather well.

Last season, Samoan running back Francis Bernard was one of the primary weapons for Herriman High School's football team and considers himself an aggressive back that can get it done in many different ways.

"When I play the game of football, I try and be that all-around back," said the 6-foot, 197-pound Bernard. "I try and be that back that can run between the tackles, make people miss, and when it's time to lower the shoulder, it's time. I try to be nasty on the field."

Having just finished up his junior season, Bernard did well for Coach Wilson of Herriman High School.

"This past season I had 179 carries for 1,537 yards," Bernard said. "Then for touchdowns I had 23. As far as our offense went, I got most of our receptions and got the ball a lot running and catching. I think I had a little over 300 yards receiving and one touchdown."

Bernard was evaluated at the All-Poly Camp as being one of the best prospects there, and after spending one day at BYU's summer camp, he received an offer from the Cougars.

"As of right now I have one scholarship from BYU, and I'm talking to Utah, Utah State and Oregon as of right now," Bernard said. "BYU was my first offer. I just showed up for one day for their summer camp and it was great.

"They watched me throughout the whole practice and liked me. After the camp they asked me to come to their office, so I did and that's when they offered me a scholarship. That was pretty exciting."

Receiving the offer was unexpected.

"Meeting with Coach Mendenhall, I thought it was going to be a lot different," said Bernard. "I thought he was just going to tell me how I did and stuff, but he was really welcoming and told me how I needed to be close to my family and things like that. It wasn't anything really pressuring but more welcoming."

Bernard was surprised yet impressed with his visit with BYU's head coach.

"It was the best interview I ever had," said Bernard. "My hat goes off to Coach Mendenhall."

Since Bernard received his offer from BYU, Coach Joe DuPaix has been in charge of his recruitment. Interestingly enough, Coach DuPaix's younger brother Danny DuPaix is Bernard's position coach at Herriman High School.

"Coach [Joe] DuPaix is a very exciting guy," Bernard said. "Whenever I see him he always comes up to me and always asks me how life is. I think he's similar to Coach Mendenhall in a lot of ways. He's just a lot different than all the other recruiting coaches.

"When he talks to me, I feel like he really means what he says. I feel I need to listen to him a lot more, and it's really helped me throughout the season and stuff."

Bernard thinks BYU would be a great place to get an education and play college football at.

"For me, I think BYU is a great place because I am LDS," said Bernard. "What they want their players to live by is also what I want to live by. I plan on serving a mission, so BYU would be a great place for kids that want to be around a certain environment and serve a mission.

"BYU is an attractive place because I would say they were the first to offer me. That is something really special to me. They also have high expectations outside of just playing football, and that's something that I want to have and live by. If I had a top-five BYU would be one of my top schools."

So what exactly does a college have to have in order to be listed among Bernard's top five?

"The things I'm looking for is how good the schooling is," said Bernard. "I want to go into business, so I want to see how good the school's business department is as far as what I want to go into. The main thing is just how their standards are and how the football program relates to real-life stuff."

And how does BYU live up to what Bernard is looking for? Well, apparently the Herriman running back thinks pretty good so far.

"I think BYU matches up almost perfect," Bernard said. "I had an unofficial visit to BYU and learned a lot."

Bernard will make a decision on where he wants to commit to once he's finished with his summer camps next year.

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