Bernard in 2013
No. 25 Cincinnati Bengals
|Date of birth:November 22, 1991|
|Place of birth: Davie, Florida|
|High school: Fort Lauderdale (FL) Aquinas|
|College: North Carolina|
|NFL Draft: 2013 / Round: 2 / Pick: 37|
|Debuted in 2013 for the Cincinnati Bengals|
|Roster status: Active|
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2013 season
Giovani Govan Bernard (born November 22, 1991) is an American football running back for the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of North Carolina. Bernard was drafted by the Bengals in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Bernard was born in West Palm Beach, Florida. He began playing football for the local tackle football league, the Boca Jets. He played high school football at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he was teammates with Florida State safety Lamarcus Joyner. While in high school, he was ranked as the No. 2 running back in Florida by the Orlando Sentinel and the No. 12 running back in the United States by Rivals.com. He is the younger brother of former Oregon State running back Yvenson Bernard.
Bernard was recruited by many schools and first committed to Notre Dame.
|Name||Hometown||High school / college||Height||Weight||40‡||Commit date|
|Davie, FL||St. Thomas Aquinas||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)||196.5 lb (89.1 kg)||4.5 s||Jan 28, 2010|
|Scout: Rivals: 247Sports: N/A ESPN grade: 79|
|Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 94, 13 (RB) Rivals: 186, 14 (RB) ESPN: 16 (RB)|
Bernard enrolled in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and played for the North Carolina Tar Heels football team from 2010 to 2012. During the third day of practice, he tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee after trying to cut away from a defender  and redshirted the 2010 season.
Bernard recovered from the injury and became the starting tailback for the Tar Heels in the 2011 college football season. He became the first North Carolina running back to rush for at least 100 yards in five straight games since Ethan Horton in 1984. His season-high came against Georgia Tech on September 24, 2011, rushing for 155 yards. In mid-October 2011, Bernard was added to the watch list for the Maxwell Award, presented annually to the best player in college football. During the 2011 regular season, Bernard's 1,222 rushing yards ranked 20th among NCAA Division I FBS players. Bernard also had 326 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns in 10 games. Bernard was the first running back to eclipse the 1,000-yards plateau at North Carolina since Jonathan Linton did it in 1997. He was also the top freshman running back in the nation in yards per game that season.
In the first year of head coach Larry Fedora's spread offense in the 2012 season, Bernard increased his rushing yards per game, average yards per carry and receiving yards. He also returned punts for the first time in his college career. On October 27, 2012, Bernard returned a punt 74 yards against NC State in the last 30 seconds of the game to break the tie and win the game. He led Carolina in scoring for the second year in a row and averaged 198.1 all-purpose yards per game, third in the country behind two receivers. The head coaches in the ACC voted Bernard to All-ACC first-team and Bernard was second in player-of-the-year and offensive player-of-the-year voting. He also won the CFPA Punt Returner Trophy for the 2012 season.
College career statistics
2013 NFL Draft
Bernard declared himself eligible for the 2013 NFL Draft. He was projected as a first or second round pick. Bernard was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the second round, 37th overall. Prior to Bernard, a running back from North Carolina had not been selected in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft since Natrone Means in 1993.
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40-yd dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert||Broad||BP|
|5 ft 8 in||202 lb||28 in||9 3/8 in||4.50 s||1.56 s||2.55 s||4.12 s||6.91 s||33 1/2 in||10 ft 2 in||19 reps|
|All values from NFL Combine.|
On September 16, 2013, Bernard scored two key touchdowns in a 20-10 Monday night win over the Bengals' division rival Pittsburgh Steelers. On October 31, 2013, Bernard scored two touchdowns in an overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins. Bernard's second score came on a thirty-five yard touchdown run that was praised by commentators as one of the best runs of the season.
Bernard finished the season second on the team in rushing (695 yards), receptions (56), and total yards (1,209), while also ranking third in receiving yards (514) and touchdowns (5 rushing and 3 receiving). In his first career playoff game, he rushed for 45 yards and caught 7 passes for 73, though he did commit a costly fumble in the first half and the Bengals lost the game, 27-10, to the San Diego Chargers.
- Concepcio Ledezma (October 25, 2008). "Aquinas' Bernard, Bucci run wild in blowout". Miami Herald.
- UNC running back Giovani Bernard, an ex-St. Thomas Aquinas standout, has battled to become a budding star
- "UNC tailback Bernard close to reaching 1,000-yard benchmark". The Daily Tar Heel. Retrieved 2013-02-10.
- "Giovani Bernard Bio". University of North Carolina. Retrieved October 20, 2011.
- "Knee injury sidelines North Carolina RB Bernard for 2010 season". USA Today. August 9, 2010.
- Aaron Beard (September 5, 2011). "Bernard's return bolsters UNC rushing attack". Houston Chronicle (AP story).
- Harold Gutman (September 2011). "Surprise starter Bernard delivers for Tar Heels". The Herald-Sun.
- Caulton Tudor (October 5, 2011). "UNC tailback Bernard making up for lost time at record pace". Charlotte Observer.
- "Bernard has used his size to his advantage as Heels' tailback". Shelby Star (Cleveland County, N.C.). October 7, 2011.
- "Giovani Bernard, Dwight Jones score to help UNC overcome slow start to beat Louisville 14-7". The Washington Post. October 8, 2011.
- "Giovani Bernard statistics". ESPN.com. Retrieved October 20, 2011.
- "Giovani Bernard Added To Maxwell Club Watch List". Tar Heel Times. October 11, 2011.
- "Rushing Yards Leaders - All Players". ESPN.com. Retrieved November 27, 2011.
- Clip of Bernard's touchdown from ACC Digital Network
- "NCAA Football stats - College Football statistics - SI.com". Sportsillustrated.cnn.com. Retrieved 2013-02-10.
- "ACC Announces First Coaches All-ACC Football Team - The Official Athletic Site of the Atlantic Coast Conference". Theacc.com. 2012-12-05. Retrieved 2013-02-10.
- "North Carolina Tar Heels RB Giovani Bernard declares for NFL draft - ESPN". Espn.go.com. 2012-12-14. Retrieved 2013-02-10.
- "Gio Bernard delivers a candidate for best run of the season". Sports Illustrated. 2013-10-31. Retrieved 2013-11-01.
- "Giovani Bernard touchdown run is must-see, but Bengals lose Geno Atkins (video)". Washington Post. 2013-11-01. Retrieved 2013-11-04.