Gio Bernard committed to Notre Dame last fall, but said after the school's coaching change he didn't think Notre Dame was the best place for him.
"I don't know why North Carolina wasn't in my thinking last fall," Bernard said Friday. "I started thinking about them about midway through the season."
Bernard, one of the top running backs in Florida, has committed to the Tar Heels. The 5-foot-9, 205-pound runner at Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas rushed for 1,650 yards as a junior and averaged close to 10 yards per carry.
He helped the school to a top national ranking in 2008 but missed much of the 2009 season with a hamstring injury. He made an official visit to North Carolina and came away impressed.
"It was the whole thing," Bernard said. "The facilities, the players and coaches, the education. I just know I want to go there."
He is ranked a four-star recruit to scout.com and is listed as the No. 59 prospect in Florida by SuperPrep. Scout.com has him listed at the No. 13 running back in the country.
"I'm going there with the idea of playing as a freshman," Bernard said. "I don't think you want to go there with the idea of backing up so-and-so. I want to go and compete for the starting position."
-- Tim Stevens