Bernard Returns from UNC, Narrows List

After officially visiting North Carolina over the weekend, Giovanni Bernard has trimmed his list and is closing in on a decision.

"I've narrowed it down," Bernard said. "I just feel like Notre Dame is not the place for me. It's down to Oregon State and North Carolina. I'm kind of torn apart [between the two schools], but hopefully I'll figure it out sometime this week."

Bernard, a 5-foot-9, 192-pound tailback from Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Aquinas, verbally committed to Notre Dame in late October. However, he began to sour on the Fighting Irish when Charlie Weis was fired.

"Really, I thought about my visit when I went up [to Notre Dame] – it was before Coach [Brian] Kelly was hired – I went off of that," Bernard said. "Come to think of it, I was just caught up in the tradition and education aspect of it that I forgot about my life. I just had to rethink it."

Before committing to Notre Dame, Bernard also made official visits to Nebraska, Oregon State, and Tennessee.

Bernard believes he'll choose between UNC and Oregon State by the end of this week.

"I'm going to talk to my coach and talk to my family and see what their take is," Bernard said.

During the weekend's visit to UNC, Bernard spent a great deal of time with UNC's players and coaching staff.

"It was a good visit," Bernard said. "I had a chance to really see the atmosphere outside of football, got to see how the players interact with each other and interact with recruits. The biggest thing for me was seeing how the players and coaches interact."

Shaun Draughn, UNC's starting tailback, served as Bernard's player host.

"It was cool hanging out with Shaun," Bernard said. "Most of the time it was me, Brandon Gainer, Shaun, and Marvin Austin. They're all real cool guys. It was an enjoyable time."

Throughout the weekend, Bernard spent a great deal of time with Ken Browning, UNC's running back coach. He also saw a lot of John Shoop, UNC's offensive coordinator.

"They're real cool guys," Bernard said. "They talked to me about what they're trying to do with the program and about their background."

Before ending his visit, Bernard met with Butch Davis.

"[The meeting with Davis] went real well," Bernard said. "I didn't really have that many questions. They kind of answered it all for me during the visit…

"[Davis] brought up my injury, which unfortunately is known to not get better. He said they don't take away scholarships, so if my injury got worse I would have nothing to worry about."

Bernard fought hamstring injuries throughout his senior season.

"It's really confusing, but for the most part it's just something wrong with both of my hamstrings," Bernard said.

Gio Bernard

Inside Carolina Top Stories