Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
FILE: BYU linebacker Francis Bernard (13) laughs during practice in Provo on Wednesday, March 8, 2017.

PROVO — BYU linebacker Francis Bernard won't participate and didn't dress for Saturday's game against Portland State, as expected, but he was there.

The 6-foot-1, 240-pound linebacker was with the team during the game, despite rumors swirling about regarding the junior linebacker's plan on transferring from the program

BYU reported plans for Bernard to take a redshirt year on Aug. 17, stating it was due to "personal reasons." Reports surfaced quickly that the former Herriman High standout was planning to leave the program as soon as BYU granted his release. Such reports were deemed premature by the BYU coaching staff, with them hoping to have Bernard back playing for the 2018 season.

Bernard was a standout for the Cougars last season, starting 12 games as a sophomore while recording 80 tackles and three interceptions. He tallied a career-best 16 tackles in BYU's 28-21 overtime win over Mississippi State, and had a 39-yard interception return for a touchdown in a 51-9 win over UMass.