Gio Bernard waiting to see what coaches do

GIO BERNARD IS a busy man. He took an official visit to OSU this month and is one of the most sought running back prospects in the nation. His high school team is not just rated the No. 1 prep team in the state of Florida, they're No. 1 in all the land according to USAToday. But that's not why he's been hard to find. And the answer also contains an intriguing recruiting angle.

Gio Bernard (5-9, 195, 4.50), brother of Beaver great Yvenson Bernard, has been focused on rehabbing a hamstring. Bernard racked up 118 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns in the season opener but played only the first half after his hamstring felt sore. In the month and two games since, he hasn't had a carry.

"I just want to see how some of these coaches will react to my injury," said Bernard. "My stats might not be out of the roof this year...I want to see if they think I'm still a good player or if they're going to think, 'He's hurt, we don't really want him.'"

Bernard rushed for 1,579 yards and 18 TDs last season as a junior and is rated the No. 12 RB prospect in the nation. He said he hasn't noticed much of a change in how coaches are recruiting him so far post-injury.

"I had kinda kept this injury to myself...but now most people are starting to find out about it because I've missed a couple games," said Bernard.

Bernard said he is expected to make a 100 percent recovery and could even be back on the field as soon as this week. As of Wednesday morning, he was listed as questionable by his prep coach.

EARLIER THIS MONTH, Bernard officially tripped to Corvallis.

"It was a good visit, I had a good time there. They had a bond, a family type of thing there..Even though they lost that week, you could see a lot of young guys playing," said Bernard.

Bernard, naturally, focused in on the running backs during the game.

"They get their running backs out in the open and they get their running back a lot of work. You're going to be a workhorse in their offense and a running back is always going to want the ball in their hands," said Bernard.

HE ALSO broke down the word "Corvallis" with Mike Riley.

"We talked about the geography of Oregon," laughed Bernard. "Basically he said you've got the valley, and Corvallis is the core of the valley. Yeah, that was different."

OREGON STATE WAS Bernard's second official visit, he tripped earlier to Tennessee.

"They were totally different, but I'm just thankful to have a chance to be able to (take any official trips,)" said Bernard.

BERNARD SAID no one school is standing out apart from the other and his decision will come after he gets to the point he can see himself in the uniform and on campus of a particular school. Bernard said he doesn't anticipate that happening until after the season, and further official visits may have to wait until then as well. He was scheduled to trip to South Bend in mid-October.

"I might have to delay that one back a little's homecoming week and I don't really want to miss it. I might want to take the visits after the season," he said.

Bernard holds offers from, among others, Oregon State, Miami, Florida, FSU, Alabama, Tennessee and Notre Dame.

Gio Bernard profile and video

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