03/29/2013 - 2013 North Carolina Pro Day: Running back Giovani Bernard may have been the biggest name of UNC's flashy skill-position athletes, but the only measured drill he performed Wednesday was in the bench press. He was quite impressive in this test, however, as the 5-8 1/2, 204-pounder lifted the bar 19 times. Bernard also showed superb quickness and burst during his positional drills. According to the source, the Bengals' Lewis seemed to be particularly interested in Bernard's workout. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
12/16/2012 - 2012 AP ALL-AMERICAN THIRD TEAM: Running back - Giovani Bernard, sophomore, North Carolina...Bernard led the league in rushing, scoring, all-purpose yards and punt return average. He rushed for 1,228 yards on 184 carries, finishing 11th in the nation with 122.8 yards per game. Despite missing two games, he 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 nation. Bernard finished fourth nationally with a single-season school record 198.1 all-purpose yards per game. - North Carolina football
12/15/2012 - Bernard felt the chance to enter the draft was too good to pass up. Larry Fedora, the Heels' first-year head coach, agreed. Bernard and Fedora met the morning after UNC's final game of the season, a 45-38 victory against Maryland. In the days and weeks after that meeting, Bernard said Fedora helped him through the decision-making process. Bernard said he received feedback from the NFL Draft Advisory Board, and Fedora culled information from his own sources. Neither Bernard nor Fedora speculated on where they believe Bernard might be drafted, though Bernard acknowledged he received positive feedback. "Coach Fedora did a great job of kind of giving me some resources - giving me some information about my projections and stuff like that," Bernard said. "When I saw, I guess, the caliber of player that I was in other people's eyes, that kind of helped me out and my decision a little bit." That decision came, Bernard said, "a couple nights ago," after he spoke with his older brother. Bernard, who said he plans to return to UNC in 2014 to complete his degree, said he hasn't yet hired an agent, and that he plans to prepare for the draft at the Athletes Performance Institute outside of Los Angeles. - Andrew Carter, The News & Observer
12/14/2012 - North Carolina sophomore tailback Giovani Bernard will give up his final two years of eligibility to enter the NFL draft. The school announced Giovani's decision Friday. Giovani is a redshirt sophomore, making him eligible to declare for the draft. "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. "I feel like the best decision for my future is to enter the NFL draft this year."
After suffering torn ligaments in his knee before his freshman season in 2010, Bernard came back strong and was first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference the past two seasons. "Gio is a special player and an even better person," North Carolina coach Larry Fedora said. "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."
Bernard led the nation in punt returns in 2012, averaging 16.4 yards. Despite missing two games because of a knee problem, he finished the season leading the ACC in rushing (1,228 yards on 184 carries), scoring (19 touchdowns) and all-purpose yards. He also was fourth nationally with 198.1 all-purpose yards per game, fifth in points per game (11.4) and 11th in rushing yards per game (122.8). - The Sports Xchange
12/14/2012 - North Carolina's Giovani Bernard, the top-rated running back by NFLDraftScout.com eligible for April's draft, is forgoing his final two years of eligibility and entering the 2013 NFL Draft. The 5-foot-10, 205-pounder is projected as a second-round selection by NFLDraftScout.com and is the No. 45 rated prospect overall. After suffering torn ligaments in his knee before his freshman season, Bernard came back strong and was first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference the past two seasons.
Bernard led the nation in punt returns in 2012, averaging 16.4 yards. Despite missing two games because of a knee problem, he finished the season leading the ACC in rushing (1,228 yards on 184 carries), scoring (19 touchdowns) and all-purpose yards. He also was fourth nationally with 198.1 all-purpose yards per game, fifth in points per game (11.4) and 11th in rushing yards per game (122.8). - Derek Harper, The Sports Xchange
12/14/2012 - In 2011, Bernard set a school freshman record with 1,253 rushing yards. "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. "I feel like the best decision for my future is to enter the NFL Draft this year."
Bernard's main competition as the first running back selected are Clemson's Andre Ellington, Wisconsin's Montee Ball and underclassmen Eddie Lacy (Alabama) and Joseph Randle (Oklahoma State) should they decide to leave school early.
"Gio is a special player and an even better person," North Carolina coach Larry Fedora said. "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." - Derek Harper, The Sports Xchange
12/12/2012 - 2012 COACHES ALL-ACC FOOTBALL FIRST TEAM: SP-Giovani Bernard, North Carolina, 5-10, 2-5, So.-R, Davie, Fla. (13), has been selected First Team All-Atlantic Coast Conference (Coaches selection) for the 2012 college football season. This year, for the first time under the auspices of the ACC, the league's 12 head football coaches voted for an All-ACC football team. Bernard finished the regular season first in the country in punt returns with a 16.4 return average and two touchdowns. He had 1,981 all-purpose yards. - North Carolina football
12/12/2012 - 2012 COACHES ALL-ACC FOOTBALL FIRST TEAM: RB-Giovani Bernard, North Carolina, 5-10, 205, So.-R, Davie, Fla. (22), has been selected First Team All-Atlantic Coast Conference (Coaches selection) for the 2012 college football season. This year, for the first time under the auspices of the ACC, the league's 12 head football coaches voted for an All-ACC football team. Bernard led the ACC with 1,228 rushing yards, 19 total touchdowns and 114 points this season. He made the first team as a running back and specialist. - North Carolina football
12/02/2012 - 2012 ALL-ACC FIRST TEAM (MEDIA): Spec.- Giovani Bernard, North Carolina (48)...has been named First Team All-Atlantic Coast Conference for the 2012 college football season by the ACC Media Association. Bernard led the ACC with 1,228 rushing yards, 19 total touchdowns and 114 points this season. He made the first team as a running back and specialist. He finished the regular season first in the country in punt returns with a 16.4 return average and two touchdowns. He had 1,981 all-purpose yards. - North Carolina football
12/02/2012 - 2012 ALL-ACC FIRST TEAM (MEDIA): RB-Giovani Bernard, North Carolina (91)...has been named First Team All-Atlantic Coast Conference for the 2012 college football season by the ACC Media Association. Bernard led the ACC with 1,228 rushing yards, 19 total touchdowns and 114 points this season. He made the first team as a running back and specialist. He finished the regular season first in the country in punt returns with a 16.4 return average and two touchdowns. He had 1,981 all-purpose yards. - North Carolina football
11/15/2012 - North Carolina has had little time to dwell on debacle that was the 68-50 loss to Georgia Tech, not with a Thursday night affair at Virginia coming up. "We talk about earning respect all the time, and this is part of it," coach Larry Fedora said. "You get an opportunity to go on national TV and you go on the road against a team that has a lot of confidence right now, one that's won its last two games." On the same day that the Tar Heels were losing to the Yellow Jackets to fall to 6-4 this season and 3-3 in ACC play, the Cavaliers were engineering a comeback from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit for a one-point victory over Miami. It was a second straight win for the Cavaliers, but at 4-6, they need to win their last two games to reach the six-win level for bowl eligibility. The Tar Heels, of course, have the necessary number of wins, but NCAA sanctions will keep them home for the holidays. They could, however, figure into the tie-breaking process to determine the ACC Coastal Division winner, but even if they come out on top, they won't play in the conference championship game. That adds a little bit of extra incentive for the appearance on national TV, even coming off the debacle against Georgia Tech. "Even with that loss we still want to be able to play," running back Giovani Bernard said. "We still want to show what we are capable of doing." - The Sports Xchange
11/15/2012 - THIS WEEK'S GAME: North Carolina at Virginia, Nov. 15 -- North Carolina, a team not eligible for the postseason, faces a Virginia team desperately trying to qualify for a bowl. The Cavaliers are 4-6 after their comeback win over Miami and need this one and a victory over Virginia Tech in their finale to get to six wins.
KEYS TO THE GAME: Recover quickly. The Tar Heels have to put their defense back together after giving up 68 points to Georgia Tech in their last game. They also must cope with Virginia's two-quarterback approach.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: RB Giovani Bernard had the Tar Heels gotten off to a better start, Bernard could be getting some Heisman consideration. He has scored touchdowns rushing, receiving, and returning punts, the most dramatic of the latter in the closing seconds of the win over North Carolina State to break a 35-35 tie. Bernard has 1,008 yards rushing, becoming the first Tar Heel with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons since Natrone Means did in with 1,030 in 1991 and 1,195 in 1992. Bernard rushed for 1,253 yards in 2011. - The Sports Xchange
11/07/2012 - ACC: NFL DRAFT PROSPECT WATCH - WEEK 10: Keep an eye on: RB Giovani Bernard, 5-10, 205, North Carolina: Why you should watch him: Bernard is draft-eligible as a redshirt-sophomore and is quickly moving up draft boards. He is also the frontrunner at this point for ACC Player of the Year. Bernard is third nationally with 214 all-purpose yards per game and is also third in scoring at 12.86 points per game. The Tar Heels are 6-1 when Bernard is in the lineup and 0-2 when he has not played. Season stats (nine games): 930 rushing yards, 7.4 yards per carry, 10 rushing touchdowns; 32 receptions, 319 receiving yards, 3 receiving touchdowns; 12 punt returns, 249 yards, 2 punt return touchdowns. Player ranking: Bernard is ranked No. 54 overall and the second-highest running back in CBSSports.com's latest player rankings. Up next: North Carolina takes on Georgia Tech after its bye week. The Yellow Jackets have allowed 148.8 rushing yards per game this season. - Sean Bielawski, CBSSports.com
10/13/2012 - Giovani Bernard ran for 177 yards and two touchdowns and North Carolina survived a slew of penalties to beat Miami 18-14 Saturday, handing the Hurricanes their first Atlantic Coast Conference loss. Bernard scored on runs of 10 and 17 yards for the Tar Heels (5-2, 2-1). It was the fourth straight win for North Carolina, which was penalized 15 times. Mike James rushed 22 times for 96 yards, both career-bests, and he and Stephen Morris each had touchdown runs for Miami (4-3, 3-1), which may have lost more than a game. Morris, Miami's quarterback, was helped off the field with 8:26 remaining after apparently hurting his left ankle. He had a large icepack strapped to the ankle shortly afterward and did not return. Backup Ryan Williams was called in and threw an incompletion on fourth-and-6 from the North Carolina 26 with 5:45 left. North Carolina took nearly four minutes off the clock before punting to Miami with 1:47 left, then held on from there. - AP Sports
10/08/2012 - WEEK 6 ACC OFFENSIVE BACK OF THE WEEK: Giovani Bernard, North Carolina, Sophomore, TB, 5-10, 205, Davie, Fla.,...Bernard rushed for a career-high 262 yards on 23 carries and scored a touchdown in North Carolina's 48-34 victory over Virginia Tech. The 262-yard performance is the fifth-highest single-game rushing total in North Carolina history and the most ever gained against Virginia Tech in any game. Bernard became the first Tar Heel to rush for 200 yards in a game since Ronnie McGill totaled 244 against Wake Forest in 2003. In one stretch from the second to third quarter, Bernard had eight carries for 186 yards, an average of 23.3 yards per rush. Bernard scored on a 62-yard run on 4th-and-inches on the first play of the second quarter and later added a 51-yard run. His 11.4 yards per carry is a single-game school record. - ACC football
10/06/2012 - North Carolina ran wild in a 48-34 win over visiting Virginia Tech on Saturday at Kenan Stadium. Tar Heels sophomore tailback Giovani Bernard rushed for a career-high 262 yards and one touchdown on 23 carries and quarterback Bryn Renner passed for 194 yards and a touchdown. UNC (4-2, 1-1 ACC) broke Tech's 10-game win streak in road ACC games and beat the Hokies in Chapel Hill for the first time since 1938. Virginia Tech (3-3, 1-1) sunk to new depths in losing for the third time in the last four games. The Hokies yielded their most points ever in an ACC game and haven't had three losses this early in the season since 1992, when they eventually ended up 2-8-1 in the season before their current 19-year bowl streak began. The Hokies stayed within single digits on Demitri Knowles' 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown midway through the third quarter, but North Carolina broke away on Casey Barth's season-long 44-yard field goal and tailback A.J. Blue's 13-yard touchdown less than three minutes apart. - The Sports Xchange
10/06/2012 - Gio Bernard rushed for a career-high 262 yards and a touchdown, Sean Tapley and A.J. Blue added two TDs apiece, and North Carolina beat Virginia Tech 48-34 on Saturday. Tapley returned a kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown and added a 19-yard scoring catch from Bryn Renner for the Tar Heels (4-2, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference). They won their third straight, rolled up 533 total yards and claimed their first home victory over the Hokies (3-3, 1-1) since 1938. Blue had touchdown runs of 1 and 13 yards, and Renner finished 17 of 30 for 194 yards with a touchdown pass and a 4-yard scoring run. Logan Thomas was 26 of 49 for 354 yards with a 13-yard touchdown run and two long touchdown passes. Demitri Knowles took a kickoff 93 yards for a TD for the Hokies, who are off to their worst start since opening 2-3-1 in 1992. - AP Sports
09/29/2012 - Gio Bernard scored twice, Bryn Renner threw three touchdown passes and North Carolina set a school scoring record in a 66-0 win against Idaho on Saturday. Freshman Quinshad Davis had two TD catches for the Tar Heels (3-2), who had five different players reach the end zone in the first half. The Tar Heels had 371 yards and 45 points by halftime before finishing with 575 total yards and setting a single-game scoring record despite playing in a steady downpour nearly all afternoon. The game was so one-sided that Bernard had just two carries while Renner played one snap after halftime. Backup quarterback Marquise Williams scored on a 4-yard keeper early in the fourth, breaking the previous record of 65 points against Virginia Medical in 1914 and Wake Forest in 1928. There were few positives for the Vandals (0-5), who had 110 yards by halftime and finished with 189. UNC blocked two punts in the first half, the first deep in Idaho's end to set up a 2-yard scoring run from Bernard. The sophomore also broke free for a 68-yard scoring run down the left sideline early in the second quarter on what turned out to be his final carry. In fact, the game looked a lot like the opener against Elon in Larry Fedora's debut as coach. The Tar Heels led 41-0 by halftime of that one and spent the second half playing in a nearly empty home stadium -- fans left early amid stifling heat -- in a 62-0 win. This time, the Tar Heels scored three touchdowns in the first eight minutes, led 45-0 by halftime and played the rest of the game in a largely empty stadium as fans bolted early amid the driving rain and lack of on-field drama. - AP Sports
09/22/2012 - Gio Bernard scored two touchdowns in his return from a knee injury and North Carolina took over after halftime to beat East Carolina 27-6 on Saturday. Bernard had missed two straight games since hurting his left knee in the season-opening win against Elon, but he returned with a 14-yard scoring catch from Bryn Renner in the first quarter and added a 4-yard TD run in the third. Bernard didn't have a big rushing day for the Tar Heels (2-2), finishing with 50 yards on 18 carries. But Renner had little trouble through the air, completing 27 of 43 passes for 321 yards and two touchdowns, including a 62-yard scoring pass to sophomore receiver Sean Tapley early in the third. The Pirates (2-2) struggled to sustain drives all afternoon, twice settling for first-half field goals after stalling inside the 10-yard line and finishing with 233 total yards. It was North Carolina's first home game since the 62-0 win in its first game under new coach Larry Fedora. The Tar Heels lost 28-27 at instate Atlantic Coast Conference rival Wake Forest the following week after giving up the go-ahead touchdown with about 2 minutes left, then nearly pulled off a stunning comeback from a 29-0 deficit before falling at Louisville 39-34. North Carolina had slow starts both times, prompting Fedora to say he was still trying to figure out "what buttons to push" with his new team. - AP Sports
09/10/2012 - Sophomore RB Giovani Bernard was in uniform but did not play at Wake Forest. Bernard had tweaked a knee in the opener, but the injury didn't seem serious and he said he expected to play against the Demon Deacons. But coach Larry Fedora made the decision after warm-ups to hold out his star rusher. Junior TB A.J. Blue got the start in place of the injured Bernard. - The Sports Xchange
09/06/2012 - THIS WEEK'S GAME: North Carolina at Wake Forest, Sept. 8 -- The Tar Heels jump into ACC play for the first time. Though they are not eligible for the division title and a berth in the conference title game, the games still count and the Tar Heels would like nothing better than to finish at the top of the standings. KEYS TO THE GAME: Don't underestimate Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons struggled for their 20-17 victory over Liberty, but have veteran QB Tanner Price, who will be looking to make up for his first interception after entering the season with 173 passes without an interception. DT Nikita Whitlock has the ability to put pressure on Carolina's hurry-up offense. PLAYERS TO WATCH: Sophomore RB Giovani Bernard, who left the Elon game in the first half because of what looked like a knee injury, will be ready to go at Wake Forest. - The Sports Xchange
09/06/2012 - Sophomore RB Giovani Bernard scored touchdowns running, receiving and returning, the latter a 70-yard punt return. Bernard played just the first half after sustaining what was thought to be a minor tweak of a knee, finishing with 93 yards on nine rushes and 10 more yards on two receptions. He also had a 30-yard punt return to go with his 70-yarder. - The Sports Xchange
09/06/2012 - KEEP AN EYE ON: As a returning 1,000-yard rusher, sophomore Giovani Bernard was a proven runner going into the game. But the Tar Heels unveiled another running threat in tailback Romar Morris. The redshirt freshman relieved Bernard, who tweaked s knee late in the second quarter and did not return, and rushed for 49 yards on 10 carries. Morris also had a 30-yard reception. - The Sports Xchange
09/06/2012 - SCOUTING THE OFFENSE: North Carolina had success in every phase of the game in 62-0 rout of Elon in the opener. Junior QB Bryn Renner, in his second year as a starter, was 14-of-21 passing. Sophomore RB Giovani Bernard had a big day with 93 yards on only nine carries. He scored a rushing touchdown, a receiving touchdown, and a returning touchdown on a punt runback. For the game, 14 players caught passes, with senior WR Erik Highsmith's three receptions leading the way. QUOTE TO NOTE: "Lighten his load? He carried the ball nine times. We're not going to lighten it. We're going to keep him going." -- Coach Larry Fedora, asked if was going to lighten the load on RB Giovani Bernard. - The Sports Xchange
09/04/2012 - ACC: PLAYERS WHOSE NFL DRAFT STOCK IS RISING: RB Giovani Bernard, North Carolina: It feels like Bernard just arrived in Chapel Hill, but as a redshirt sophomore, he will be eligible for the 2013 NFL Draft. He showed a lot of versatility against Elon on Saturday, scoring a rushing touchdown, receiving touchdown, and a punt return touchdown in the first half. It is clear that Bernard will be utilized in a variety of ways in new coach Larry Fedora's up-tempo offense. If Bernard can stay healthy, he should have a big year. You can see him next: Saturday at Wake Forest, 3 p.m. ET (RSN). - Sean Bielawski, CBSSports.com
09/01/2012 - Gio Bernard had three first-half touchdowns and North Carolina had its biggest scoring day in 17 years to beat Elon 62-0 on Saturday in the debut of new coach Larry Fedora. Bernard had a 59-yard TD run down the left sideline, a 6-yard scoring catch and a 70-yard punt return for a score down the right sideline -- all by the 12-minute mark of the second quarter. Bernard finished with 93 yards rushing and 203 all-purpose yards before leaving late in the first half with an apparent injury, the most impressive performer in the Tar Heels' new no-huddle spread attack. Bryn Renner threw for 236 yards and three touchdowns for the Tar Heels, who had 524 total yards in both teams' opener. North Carolina finished three points shy of tying the school record and had its best output since beating Ohio 62-0 under Mack Brown in September 1995. It was also the Tar Heels' first shutout since beating Duke 38-0 to close the 1999 season. Thomas Wilson threw for 99 yards on a forgettable day for the Phoenix, an FCS school located about 40 miles west of Chapel Hill and coming off a five-win season. Wilson struggled to get the ball to receiver Aaron Mellette, who set a Southern Conference record with 1,639 yards to go with 12 touchdowns last season but had just two catches for 9 yards Saturday. Elon finished with 170 total yards against UNC's new 4-2-5 defense. Bernard ran for 1,253 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, becoming the first UNC player to rush for 1,000 yards in a season since 1997. The sophomore tailback was en route to a huge day before heading to the locker room shortly before halftime, and he wasn't spotted on the UNC sideline when the team came out for the second half. - AP Sports
08/05/2012 - "This offense really just spreads everything out," Bernard said Saturday during the team's preseason media day. "The spread opens up more holes. It's more open field with more receivers on the field, so (defenses) have to put more DBs out there and a lot less guys in the box." Bernard entered last year after a knee injury that cost him all of the 2010 season, but he ran for 1,253 yards and 13 touchdowns. He averaged better than 5 yards per carry, becoming the first Tar Heel to reach the 1,000-yard mark since Jonathan Linton in Brown's final season here in 1997. That included a run of five straight 100-yard games. Bernard, whose season-high was 165 yards against Duke, became the first Tar Heel to run for at least 150 yards three times in the same season since 1988. But that production came in a pro-style offense under John Shoop, not the spread that Fedora and offensive coordinator Blake Anderson spent the spring installing in Chapel Hill. Still, Fedora's last team at Southern Miss averaged more than 205 yards on the ground compared to 256 yards passing per game. "I think Gio sees the opportunity to touch the ball more often than he has in the past," Fedora said. "I think he's excited about that." Junior quarterback Bryn Renner said he expects Bernard will thrive in the new scheme. "I think it's going to be great for him," Renner said. "It'll get him more in open space, more running lanes for him to do his job. He's a great runner in between the tackles so we're going to try to get him the ball as much as possible." "I think it's going to be great for him," Renner said. - AP Sports
07/27/2012 - 2012 PRESEASON ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE PRESEASON TEAM (MEDIA): RB Giovani Bernard, North Carolina (60), has been selected Preseason All-Atlantic Coast Conference football for the 2012 college football season by the ACC media. Bernard, who ran for 1,253 yards, the third-best in ACC history for a freshman, has been named to the preseason watch lists for the Maxwell and Doak Walker Awards. TOP FOUR VOTING BY POSITION (OVERALL, NAME, TEAM, VOTES): Running Back: 1. Giovani Bernard, UNC, 60...2. Andre Ellington, CL, 53...3. Orwin Smith, GT, 11...4. Perry Jones, UVa, 8 - North Carolina football
07/20/2012 - 2012 DOAK WALKER AWARD PRESEASON WATCH LIST: Giovani Bernard (So.), North Carolina, has been selected to the Preseason Doak Walker Award Watch List for the 2012 college football season, presented annually to the nation's premier running back for his accomplishments on the field, achievement in the classroom and citizenship in the community. Bernard is one of just five sophomore candidates. Bernard rushed for a freshman school record 1,253 yards and earned first-team All-ACC and first-team freshman All-America honors. A native of Davie, Fla., Bernard scored 14 touchdowns, including 13 rushing. - North Carolina football
07/09/2012 - 2012 MAXWELL AWARD PRESEASON WATCHLIST: Giovani Bernard, North Carolina, RB, So., has been selected to the preseason Maxwell Award watchlist for the 2012 college football season, given to America's outstanding collegiate football player since 1937 and named in honor of sportswriter Robert W. "Tiny" Maxwell. Bernard earned first-team All-ACC honors in 2011 and rushed for a UNC freshman record 1,253 yards. He became the first Tar Heel to run for more than 1,000 yards since 1997. Bernard tied for the ACC lead with 14 total touchdowns and led all ACC running backs with 13 rushing touchdowns. - North Carolina football