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Ken Medlin

Decision looms for Bernard

Posted November 25, 2012
Updated November 26, 2012

Just how good is Gio Bernard?

Chapter and verse have been written already about Carolina's star running back this season, so I'll limit my answer to one observation: Throughout Saturday's game, I kept thinking Maryland was doing a decent job of containing him - and he still rushed for 163 yards.

That's pretty good by any standard. UNC vs Maryland Slideshow: North Carolina ends season with a win

But with that kind of talent comes a big-time decision. As a redshirt sophomore, Bernard is now eligible for the NFL Draft.

So a decision looms.

I have no idea if Gio has ever heard of The Clash, but "Should I stay or should I go" is exactly what he has to be wrestling with right now.

Bernard did not participate in pre-game Senior Day festivities, so he's not tipping his hand yet. He also didn't come out for post-game interviews, but a UNC spokesperson said that was because he played the game with the flu and was feeling ill.

As for his draft stock, I've seen him projected as a first-rounder in some places, and a second-rounder in others. The validity of those projections might be what tips the scale for his decision.

The pros for leaving are obvious: Cash in now while you can, and you're healthy. Think about Marcus Lattimore. It would be hard to turn down a sure-fire spot in the first round for another year of college.

As for the cons, Bernard might be able to improve his draft status with another great season next year. Weighing the opportunity cost of this season's would-be earnings against potentially higher earnings next year is something Bernard will surely do. Injury insurance is an option. And there's also the possibility of a Heisman Trophy run. If Bernard plays himself into consideration next year, what would that be worth in terms of endorsements?

To be honest, I think the odds are we've seen Gio's last collegiate football game. But it's not a certainty yet, and his will be an interesting decision either way.

31 Comments

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  • Unc r Hypocrits Dec 1, 8:58 a.m.

    The ONLY right decision for Gio is to go pro. That's all.

  • Hokies94 Nov 29, 4:17 p.m.

    I believe some want him back to UNC for their own selfish reasons. Gio has experienced problems with his knees. One ACL surgery already. He's not super man. It's a no-brainer for him to go Pro; in my opinion. I hated to see David Wilson leave early, Darren Evans, Williams, and a host of others... but look at the money they have in the bank for their families.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Nov 27, 4:31 p.m.

    Last time I checked, Gio spells GO. Those of you at unc might take a while to get that one.

    — Posted by jacamoe

    We might want to start administering a entry exam on here because that one would most likely... View More

    — Posted by Dr. Feelgood

    So true, Doc, but I think there were too many exceptions granted here, judging by some of the posts:)

  • mrwufabc Nov 27, 2:50 a.m.

    If Gio had missed no games to injury, then I'd say he should stay. He missed several games to... View More

    — Posted by mrwufabc

    I just googled, the guy is an actor now. WHAT???? He did play in the NFL, but my point is the same. His knee injury against Maryland never gave him the same chance at greatness.

  • mrwufabc Nov 27, 2:46 a.m.

    If Gio had missed no games to injury, then I'd say he should stay. He missed several games to injuries and comes across as an injury prone guy. Nothing against him, he just looks like he gets hurt. If he stays, I see a real chance of him getting hurt bad. Like career ending bad. I realize I want to see him go because I hate unc, but if he were at NC State, I'd feel the same way. Eddie Goines comes to mind with his ACL against Maryland at the next to last game of the season his senior year. He was on the short list for Heisman. I don't think he ever played another game. I could be wrong. I'm sure people are going to try and say I'm wrong about the Heisman, but I kept the news clippings. USA Today had him #7 in the Heisman race mid season. I'm all for getting an education, but his position is prone to injury and he is an injury prone kid.

  • Leave it to Beaver Reruns Nov 26, 1:28 p.m.

    No Gio was committed to ND and dropped it to go to UNC. Golson on the other hand saw the light... View More

    — Posted by doser

    "your the dummy"

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.......I think I would say that you'rethe dummy.

  • 30yearsofmediocrity Nov 26, 1:08 p.m.

    Stay......Buy a big insurance Policy.......Take a shot at winning the Heisman

  • tarheelgrad1998 Nov 26, 1:00 p.m.

    He's a great college back, but no way he goes first or second round if he comes out this year. RBs aren't as desirable as they once were, and even "NFL ready" backs like Mark Ingram have struggled. Plus, Gio hasn't proven to be durable. No team will invest higher than a third round pick on him at this point.

    I think Sproles is a perfect analogy, and he went fourth round. He also got a couple of fat checks after his rookie deal. Gio may very well go this year, and hope to get to that second contract a year earlier.

  • doser Nov 26, 12:58 p.m.

    No Gio was committed to ND and dropped it to go to UNC. Golson on the other hand saw the light and dropped his commitment to UNC to go to ND. How great is that working out for him.

    Gio probably went to UNC to avoid the stiff competition he would face in the ND back field as well as the true academic work he would face!

    still heelman 1973 your the dummy!

  • iron fist Nov 26, 12:25 p.m.

    Hate to see him go, the Heels will miss his talent next season but he should go before injuries keep him out of the NFL Good luck to you Gio

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