Gio Bernard is probably the best running back prospect in college football right now. Bernard leads the country in all-purpose yards, touchdowns and punt return average and is third in rushing yards. As a top rated back he doesn’t have much to gain from coming back to school for another year, but he has plenty to lose.
After missing all of 2010 with a knee injury an another couple games this season to another knee injury, he’s one Marcus Lattimore type of injury away from seeing his dream put in serious doubt. That’s why if I’m Bernard, I’m putting my name in the NFL Draft list this offseason, no reason to come back to Chapel Hill and risk further injury.
As college football fans, we want to see the best players remain in school and play on Saturdays for as long as possible. At the same time, think about the kids dream and his future. Sure as football players everybody dreams of playing college football, but the ultimate dream is playing in the NFL and making millions of dollars.
Bernard is no stranger to injury and it would be devastating to see the young man with so much talent lose out on that dream. Bernard seems to understand the risk and the importance of obtaining his degree to have something to fall back on. Which is why I’m confident he should go after this season. Some players aren’t smart enough or motivated enough to still get that degree after becoming professional athletes. Bernard isn’t one that anybody should worry about in that respect. That’s why he should realize his ultimate dream and become an NFL player in Aprils NFL Draft.