Irish will host Bernard this weekend

Gio Bernard has taken a step back from recruiting, but the standout running back from St. Thomas Aquinas High School (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) will take time to travel to South Bend to watch Notre Dame and USC renew their rivalry.

Gio Bernard(5-foot-9, 195-pounds) is one of Notre Dame's top targets at running back, and the Irish will get the opportunity to impress him this weekend, as the standout athlete comes to town on an official visit.

"I'm coming up this weekend with Cody Riggs, Lamarcus Joyner and Brandon Linder," Bernard said. "I just want to see the whole atmosphere, the coaching and I want to see how I feel. When I get there I'll know.

"I'm definitely interested in them, but I'm not really too sure what my top three or top four is yet. I haven't really had a chance to sit down because I've been going about this in my own way. There will be a time when I come up with my top three or top four and hopefully I'll make my decision around signing day."

Bernard has had a chance to visit a couple other schools, but after his visit to Notre Dame, he isn't certain what his plans will be.

"I've visited Oregon State and Tennessee," he explained. "They're kind of the same thing, I felt good at both places so hopefully I can keep going with these other visits. I don't have my other two visits set yet, but my plan is to take them after my season. I really don't know where to take the other visits. It'll be to wherever I feel I need to take a visit, have a chance to see and have a chance to talk to the coaches more.

"I've really kind of been going my own way on this recruiting thing. I've been kind of staying away from watching games, and I've kept to my own business. If I'm not playing football, I kind of try to stay away from it and kind of keep my mind clear. I just try to hang around and relax and keep my mind off of football.

"I don't want to go to a team that just passes the ball, and runs the ball occasionally," he said. "I want to run the ball; that's what a running back does. He wants the ball in his hands and wants to show people what he's able to do. Hopefully the teams that I'm looking at offer that and those are the teams that I'm interested in."

St. Thomas Aquinas is undefeated thus far, but unfortunately for Bernard his senior season was interrupted when he pulled both hamstrings early in the season.

"I'm still trying to get over my injury," Bernard said. "I've missed three or four games. I'm a little banged up, but I'm trying to get back into it and trying to get this rehab going. Hopefully people get to see what I really can do when I play healthy."


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