Sep 29, 2012; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels running back Giovani Bernard (26) carries the ball against the Idaho Vandals in the first half at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Liz Condo-US PRESSWIRE

UNC Football: Gio Bernard Should Go Pro

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.

Tags: Football Gio Bernard Giovani Bernard North Carolina Tar Heels

  • Tar!Nation!Cj

    I can obviously think like a fan and want him to stay in school all four years and play it out but I truely want whats best for Gio. If striking while the iron is hot is his course nor I or anyone could hardly blame him. All be it a shot to be a pro and potentially a multi millionaire there is unfinished buisness here in Chapel Hill. There is a brighter future ahead for UNC football and to have Gio as its flagship player would almost certainly take the Heels to where they want to go and what they want to become. If it is Gio’s desire to bask in the sun of being a student and enjoy college life then so be it, if he wished to go pro then so be it. What if, not this year probably, next season for a senior season Gio is a Heisman candidate preseason? What if the Heels are ranked close to top 10 preseason with Gio the linch pin of the team? What if the Heels stand a greater shot at an ACC Championship with Gio? He nor none of us will never know if Gio does bolt for NFL. Do not discount the fact Gio is thinking of things in regards to staying and not just all about NFL questions. What ever its worth Gio has proven to me he IS a Tarheel, he has shown us all his heart on many occasions especially after his game winning punt return td when he showed his emotions and broke down realizing the gravit of what he just did in the history of Tarheel football. He became legenary!

    • Keeping_It_Heel

      great post CJ! absolutely those things should be considered and if he wants to stay obviously that is his choice and I would respect it. Just watching ML get hurt the way he did scared me for Gio. If I were Gio, I’m gone, school is great and being a Tar Heel is great and it would be awesome if some of the things you described happened for him and UNC football.

      • Horran Cameron

        I agree that Gio should bolt. He has to protect his best interests. If he stays and has a season-ending or career-ending injury, then he is just another could’ve-would’ve. If he goes pro, he gets “guaranteed” money up front. In my opinion, it’s a no-brainer. Everybody is not as fortunate as Frank Gore, who suffered two knee injuries at Miami but overcame many obstacles to make it to the NFL. Willis McGahee and Clinton Portis were his backups, who blew up in college and the NFL while he rehabbed. Now, Gore’s career (over a period of time) is better than theirs.