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North Carolina

Gio Bernard to leave UNC, enter NFL Draft

Posted December 14, 2012

— University of North Carolina sophomore running back Gio Bernard will skip his remaining eligibility with the Tar Heels and enter the 2013 NFL Draft, the school announced Friday. 

Bernard, a Florida native, 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. 

UNC vs GT Our lens on Gio Bernard

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.

"I thoroughly enjoyed my three years in Chapel Hill and coming to UNC was one of the best decisions I've ever made," Bernard said in a statement. "I feel like the best decision for my future is to enter the NFL draft this year. I want to thank Coach Fedora, this coaching staff and the previous coaching staff for putting me in a position to succeed. I am on track to graduate and I plan on coming back to earn my degree in the Spring of 2014."

Bernard finished second to Tahj Boyd in the ACC Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year races, falling short by one vote for each award. 

Despite missing two games, Bernard scored a league-best 19 touchdowns (12 rushing, five receiving, two on punt returns) and averaged 11.4 points per game to rank fifth in the country. 

"Gio is a special player and an even better person," Fedora said in a statement. "He flourished in our offense and was an outstanding leader for our program. After the season was over, we helped him gather as much information as possible so he and his family could make the best decision for his future. We support his decision and wish him nothing but success as he takes the next step in his football career."

After redshirting in 2010 due to a knee injury, Bernard earned first-team All-ACC honors in 2011 by rushing for 1,253 yards and 13 touchdowns.

103 Comments

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  • hovis Dec 15, 1:29 p.m.

    This ain't high-school. While Logan is a very good back, Gio is one of those players that only... View More

    — Posted by rherring23

    Glennon isn't a "winner". He isn't a leader or a winner. Wilson willed us to multiple wins. ... View More

    — Posted by mrwufabc

    Glennon is a winner. Without Glennon you don't beat Fla. State, UConn, and Maryland. Also,... View More

    — Posted by PacknoPride

    He is not a winner. I'm not criticizing him. I'm stating a fact.

    — Posted by mrwufabc

    I think you are trying to say that Glennon was not a "leader" like Wilson was.

  • mrwufabc Dec 15, 1:14 p.m.

    For all the ABC fans who think this is just wonderful news and UNC will not be able to replace... View More

    — Posted by simplysavvy

    This ain't high-school. While Logan is a very good back, Gio is one of those players that only... View More

    — Posted by rherring23

    Glennon isn't a "winner". He isn't a leader or a winner. Wilson willed us to multiple wins. ... View More

    — Posted by mrwufabc

    Glennon is a winner. Without Glennon you don't beat Fla. State, UConn, and Maryland. Also,... View More

    — Posted by PacknoPride

    He is not a winner. I'm not criticizing him. I'm stating a fact.

  • PacknoPride Dec 15, 10:06 a.m.

    For all the ABC fans who think this is just wonderful news and UNC will not be able to replace... View More

    — Posted by simplysavvy

    This ain't high-school. While Logan is a very good back, Gio is one of those players that only... View More

    — Posted by rherring23

    Glennon isn't a "winner". He isn't a leader or a winner. Wilson willed us to multiple wins. ... View More

    — Posted by mrwufabc

    Glennon is a winner. Without Glennon you don't beat Fla. State, UConn, and Maryland. Also, you're not even close against UNC. State's running offense was basically non-existant this year. Without Glennon you are not in a bowl game. So, rather than criticizing him, maybe you should be thanking him for what he did for state kollege football.

  • mxteam44 Dec 15, 8:56 a.m.

    I don't blame him! Good luck Gio! You were a TON of fun to watch on Saturdays! Now, go show 'em how it's done on Sundays!!!!

  • Dr. Feelgood Dec 15, 7:11 a.m.

    Should have stayed with his commitment to ND. Would be playing in the National Championship... View More

    — Posted by doser

    Hey Hatedoser, make sure you tell your Dentist, Pharmacist, and Doctor how you feel about UNCs academics next time you are around them.

  • Dr. Feelgood Dec 15, 7:08 a.m.

    he will be forever remembered as the TOB killer.

    — Posted by shakennotstirred

    ...one straw doth not break ye camels back...Gio was just icing...Yow was ready for a new approach when she gott to NCSU.

  • Dr. Feelgood Dec 15, 7:07 a.m.

    he will be forever remembered as the TOB killer.

    — Posted by shakennotstirred

    If that is how you want to remember it fine. Point is TOB is gone. You're wrong by the way. I... View More

    — Posted by mrwufabc

    On your game I see Wuf...

  • shanemane1986 Dec 15, 7:05 a.m.

    I'd do the same thing if I were in his shoes! It's all about college ball if you're a fan or alumni. It's about making a future and alot of money if you were an actual player!

  • Gunnstigator Dec 15, 7:02 a.m.

    he will be forever remembered as the TOB killer.

    — Posted by shakennotstirred

    And for that, State fans shall be forever grateful:)

  • wilkhow Dec 15, 6:01 a.m.

    See YA-best thing he could do is get the hell out of chapel hill college . It hurt him that he could not ring the bell this year. See ya on tv and who cares who yu play for. It's all about college football

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