Bernard talks about his decision

Running back Giovanni Bernard obviously had a great visit to Notre Dame a week ago, because the standout athlete from St. Thomas Aquinas High School (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) called the Notre Dame coaches to inform them that he was accepting their scholarship offer.

Notre Dame wanted to land a top running back in this recruiting class and they did that as Gio Bernard (5-foot-9, 195-pounds) became Notre Dame 17th commitment of the 2010 recruiting class.

"I did," Bernard admitted when asked if he had given his verbal commitment to the Notre Dame coaching staff. "I talked to coach Alford, and he told me to come in ready to work. I'm used to that, in fact, I think I'll have an advantage because most guys go in there their freshman year and start competing. But going to St. Thomas you're just a tiny fish in a big pond, so I've had a chance to see and compete against a lot of great players and to learn from them.

"It was between Notre Dame, Nebraska, Oregon State and Miami. I sat down and look at the pros and cons. I talked to my dad about it and we picked the same school, so it all worked out and I'm happy with my decision.

"Notre Dame has the entire package," he said. "That's what you need when you go to college, to have that whole experience and to be surrounded by great people, see new things and have a great education and have a chance to play great football."

Although Notre Dame is Bernard's clear No. 1 school now, that certainly wasn't always the case. In fact Gio admitted the Irish were lagging behind several other schools at one point this summer.

"Yeah they were," Bernard explained. "There was a time when I was like ‘Yeah, it's Notre Dame, and the education is good, but…' Then I got to see the future of the football team. I got to see the area, and meet some of the players so, really it was just a great decision. Hopefully my football career works out, but if not I'll fall back on my degree."

Bernard suffered two pulled hamstrings at the beginning of his final season. Going through that made an impact on which school he wanted to attend.

"It did in a way," Bernard responded when asked if his injuries had an affect on his decision. "You never know what could happen, it could have been my knees, an ACL injury or that kind of thing. So the education did play a big role and you can't put a price tag on a good education. Being a football player, I have an opportunity to attend Notre Dame and it wasn't something that I could pass up. There are other education-based schools, but Notre Dame also has a great football team and you get the exposure. I'm just happy and kind of relieved right now.

"(My injury) is good. I'm going to wait until playoffs and let them heal really good and then get out there and show everyone what I can do." Top Stories