North Carolina

Bernard impressive at Bengals rookie camp

Posted May 13, 2013

Former North Carolina running back Giovanni Bernard impressed coaches at Bengals rookie camp this weekend.

Head Coach Marvin Lewis is comparing him to established running backs like Ray Rice and Maurice Jones Drew, which is high praise for a player after his first weekend of work as a pro.

Gio Bernard, Bengals rookie camp Gio Bernard impressive at Bengals rookie camp

Gio was the second round draft pick for the Bengals this year after deciding to leave North Carolina a year early.

"This kid has played in both the downhill I-formation running style offense as opposed to the now spread out the field offense. So he's done both, he's had the opportunity to do it all like that," said Lewis.

Bernard ran for 1,228 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2012, earning first-team All-ACC honors as a running back and specialist. His 198.1 all-purpose yards per game ranked fourth nationally in 2012 and set a UNC single-season record.

In a season full of highlight plays, Bernard's finest moment in 2012 came against NC State in late October. His punt return touchdown with 13 seconds left secured a 43-35 Tar Heels victory and ended a five-year losing streak against the Wolfpack.

He says he's enjoying the NFL so far and no surprise he says it's a step up from the college game.

"Fast paced, very fast paced," said Bernard. "You know I just came out of a spread offense and I thought that was a little bit more faster. But I enjoyed it, running around, having fun. Kind of meeting the guys and understanding the playbook each and every single second."

Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden thinks Bernard will be an asset to quarterback Andy Dalton with his ability to gain yards after the catch. 

9 Comments

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  • BeastOfTheHill May 14, 2013

    View quoted thread

    poor pitiful dook fans. All they got is hate.

    it's not basketball season troll king.

  • VT1994Hokie May 14, 2013

    Gio can do some amazing things on the field. Just hope that he can stay healthy.

  • OGE May 14, 2013

    It's easy to shine with no contact from actual NFL players. Time will tell.

  • 75Tarheel May 14, 2013

    The next UNC star in the NFL as a star. Where are all the naysayers who said he's too small? GO GIO!!

    GO HEELS!!

  • ? May 14, 2013

    Looks like I'll have to pull for the Bengals from time to time. GO GIO GO!! 10-27-12

  • charlesboyer May 13, 2013

    Bernard is almost a lock to be an NFL star. Kid's got it all.

  • cwilliams843 May 13, 2013

    as a UNC fan I love it..but as a Baltimore Raven fan I hate it..lol

  • NothingButNet May 13, 2013

    Very happy for Gio, but I sure will miss seeing #26 in a Carolina uniform next year.

  • kingoftrolls01 May 13, 2013

    "little bit more faster." there ya go Gio, show off that UNC edjumacation.

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