According to multiple reports (here and here), Italian Stallion Giovani Bernard, a redshirt sophomore, will end the pursuit of his African-America Studies degree and enter the NFL draft. UNC officials have yet to confirm what seems like more than just a rumor.
Bernard's 74-yard punt return for a touchdown with 13 seconds left gave the Tarheels their first win over the Wolfpack since 2006. For the season, the Stallion ran for 1,270 yards, amassed 490 yards receiving, and took two punts back for touchdowns. He was in the top 20 nationally in rushing yards per game (128.8) and yards per carry (6.7), and his 19 total touchdowns helped him rank fifth at the FBS level in points per game (11.4).
Larry Fedora, fresh off an 8-4 season in his first year at the helm of the Tarheels, saw the school's defensive effectiveness fall off a cliff in 2012, yet, largely due to the special talents of Bernard (who will likely be a first or second round pick in the draft), the Heels were every bit as good overall as they ever were during the star-studded, scandal-ridden days under the not-so-watchful eyes of Chief Butch Davis. It will be interesting to see if the Heels maintain that success without their best player.