Germie Bernard (WR, 6’2” 195, Liberty HS, NV)
Junior Adams looks to have gotten a good head start on the 2022 class with Bernard’s commitment, just 10 months after a visit to Montlake that resulted in an early offer. Even as a sophomore, Germie Bernard doesn’t just have the look of an early impact WR, but he has the look of a coveted X-WR, and we’ve done well to land him early before other blue blood programs joined Michigan, Miami and Penn State in the hunt to land his commitment.
Bernard’s well-built 6-2 frame, gliding speed, strong hands, and technically sound route running fundamentals compare well to those that made Puka Nacua an early impact perimeter WR. He isn’t a track burner, or a twitched-up jitterbug, but he’s still a mover that is by no means limited by any physical trait. The ability to create separation in isolation at all three levels is what really separates perimeter and slot receivers. Size and speed can help with that, but Bernard’s route running and body control allow him to create separation on both in and out breaking routes at all three levels as well. There were even times when I was watching his tape that I had to remind myself that I was watching his sophomore tape, and that he has two full years ahead of before he’s supposed to arrive on campus. I’d argue that his on-field production would be intriguing even if he was in the 2021 class.
A couple of specific points that I had noted down were that he effectively used jab steps and head fakes to beat/create leverage, he understood how to attack soft areas in zone coverage, and he showed on several occasions that he knew when to throttle back once he established position. The last point was particularly impressive because it shows a more advanced route running and situational awareness, and it was especially evident on his fade routes. He knew within the first four steps that he would win outside leverage and flip the CB’s eyes away from the QB, so by throttling down he could give himself more runway before he’d hit the end of his QB’s range (or the back of the endzone). It’s those little details that aren’t immediately obvious, but they’ll help earn him earlier playing time.
Other things of note his fairly physical running after the catch, his physicality when blocking down field, and his future growth and development. It is always exciting to see WRs who seek out contact in the run game, and it too is one of the traits that will stick out to coaches when assessing who should get early playing time. As for his future growth, Bernard gave an interview where he claimed to still be growing, and that he’s supposed to cap out around 6-4 or 6-5. That by itself would help push Bernard into the athletic “freak” category, but it also means that there’s a chance that he could get faster and more explosive as he continues to fill out his growing frame.
Long story short, landing a future X-WR this early in the recruiting cycle, and with this high of a floor, and with this much upside, can go a long way in setting a positive tone for the 2022 class. He should be a multi-year starter who may be able to outplay a redshirt year.