SALT LAKE CITY — Utah linebacker Francis Bernard says he’s making the adjustment to red from blue after transferring from BYU.
“I would say I am. I would say the guys here have just been super open and super welcoming to me,” Bernard said as the Utes prepare for Saturday’s game at Northern Illinois. “But college football is college football, so I’m here and I’m a Ute.”
Bernard, who joined the team late in camp, saw limited action in last week’s 41-10 win over Weber State. The junior assisted on one tackle in his first game since playing for BYU in 2016. He acknowledged there was a little rust to shake off.
“I would say absolutely. I don’t know if people understand, but I feel like with anything, you take a year off and you try to jump right into it, there’s always just like little things that you forget.”
Bernard added that his mind is a little like a step behind.
“I would say this week is like a lot better,” he said.3 comments on this story
Even so, Bernard estimates it’ll take another game or two to be up to speed with football. He said just getting back on the field, though, was amazing.
“It felt like my first college football game all over again,” Bernard said. “I jumped out there. I had the freaking butterflies and I look out and there’s 50,000 people just watching, observing and the crowd’s roaring. So like it felt amazing. It was awesome.”
The bottom line? Bernard said he’s “happy as can be” in his new surroundings.