Giovanni Bernard is a four-star running back prospect for Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas. Last weekend Bernard took his first official visit. That went to Tennessee. This weekend he heads west to Oregon State.
"Everything about the Tennessee visit was just awesome," Bernard said. The atmosphere was amazing. I loved the Vol walk. The coaches are great and very down to earth. The area (Knoxville) is beautiful. That was my first time there. I can definitely fit into their scheme. They run zone and iso and I think I fit into their system real well.
"I leave tomorrow for Oregon State. My brother used to play for them. I have been out there once and that is just a great atmosphere. You don't realize it until you are there. It's one of the most beautiful places I have seen. Coach (Mike) Riley and that staff is amazing."
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Bernard, 5-9 and 198 pounds, has a third visit set up and that one is to Notre Dame in October (23rd). He says he will take two visits after the season.
"I don't know where yet but I think I may go to Oklahoma State for sure, likely after the season. I am also looking at Florida State, Alabama and Nebraska. I am just not sure where yet.
"I am kind of down on Miami and Florida. I mean I am starting to doubt them. I have lost the connection with Florida and with Miami I don't get that college feel. Plus, I kind of want to get away from home.
"I have to do what's right for me. I want to find a place where I feel at home and the depth chart is big. These are critical things for me. I will take my visits and figure it out."
St. Thomas Aquinas is off this week and that's a good thing for Bernard, as he's nursing a sore hamstring. He played sparingly last Friday in their win against Boyd Anderson.
"I may not play next week (against Cardinal Gibbons) so I can be well and healthy for Byrnes (S.C.). I want to be ready for that game."
Right now St. Thomas Aquinas and Byrnes are the top two rated teams in the country.