Former BYU linebacker Francis Bernard joins Utah Utes football

Aug 13, 2018, 6:56 PM | Updated: 11:04 pm
A former linebacker for BYU Football has officially joined the University of Utah....
Utah linebacker Francis Bernard jogs off the field following team practice on Monday, Aug. 13, 2018. Bernard officially joined the Utah Utes program Monday. (Brandon Judd, Deseret News)
(Brandon Judd, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – Former BYU linebacker Francis Bernard will get another shot at playing NCAA football as he joins the University of Utah.

He is not allowed to speak with the media right now, but he did practice with the team Monday as he works through the five-day NCAA-mandated acclimatization period.

Head coach Kyle Whittingham says Bernard had to work hard to get himself eligible to join the program.

“He busted his rear end and got it all done,” said Whittingham who mentioned he had to earn an associates and meet other requirements to be able to join the Utes.

Bernard is a former Herriman High School star and played two seasons at BYU. In his first year he played the running back position and rushed for 346 yards and seven touchdowns in 2015. The next season he transitioned over into playing linebacker.

In 2017 Bernard red-shirted for personal reasons and during that time was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in Vineyard. In October of that same year BYU granted him a full release. Despite the past, Whittingham believes Bernard will fit right in.

“Our guys will take him under their wing,” Whittingham said. “We expect him to become us. We won’t become him. He’ll become us.”

The University of Utah’s opening football game is Thursday August 30th versus the Weber State Wildcats.

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Former BYU linebacker Francis Bernard joins Utah Utes football