Today I’ve decided to answer some of the many questions I receive via email and twitter in a series of posts that I’ll publish over the next 48 hours. This question comes from Bob in Charlotte he asks what life will be like without Giovani Bernard.
Life will inevitably be different for the Tar Heels without Gio in the backfield and the Tar Heels won’t replace his dynamic skill set with just one player. Bernard became the first UNC rusher to go for over 1,000 yards in a season since Jonathan Linton did it in 1997 and the first to do it in back to back seasons since Natrone Means way back in 1991-1992 seasons.
Despite how good Bernard is, UNC will be in good shape in the backfield. Head Coach Larry Fedora utilized all of talent on the roster at the position. AJ Blue assumed the power back role and looked good running between the tackles with 433 yards rushing averaging 5.3 yards per rush. Romar Morris in my opinion was a bit underutilized and has tons of potential to be a star with blazing speed and terrific ability as a rusher and receiver. Morris went for 386 yards and a 5.6 yards per carry average. And incoming freshman TJ Logan recently broke the state record with 510 yards and 8 touchdowns, Keeping It Heel’s Ben Williams described him as Romar Morris with a ton more wiggle.
Where the Tar Heels will miss Bernard the most may be in the return game where Bernard was perhaps the most electrifying return man in the nation. Gio won the game against NC State all by himself with a 74-yard punt return for TD with 13 seconds remaining to stun the Wolfpack.
Life without Gio will be different and the offense will not be as dynamic without him but the Heels offense will still be very good and the running game will be just fine.