Utah's Micah Bernard enters transfer portal, per report
Utah running back Micah Bernard has entered his name into the transfer portal, according to multiple reports on Wednesday. The Athletic’s Max Olson had the news first.
The Utes will lose one of their top offensive playmakers. Bernard had discussed the possibility of a return for the 2023 season several weeks prior to the Rose Bowl, ending with “we’ll see what happens.”
After spending four seasons at Utah, Bernard will have two years of eligibility to play wherever he lands.
Utah RB Micah Bernard has entered the portal as a grad transfer, @TheAthletic has learned.
Bernard put up 1,621 yards and 9 TDs over the last 2 seasons. Also played CB!
— Max Olson (@max_olson) January 4, 2023
Though not a featured back, Bernard was pretty integral to what Utah wanted to do on offense in recent years. He was a runner. He was an option for quarterback Cameron Rising out of the backfield in the pass game.
He took a team-first approach throughout his time in Salt Lake City, even filling in at corner when depth was depleted prior to last year’s Rose Bowl — where he had to match up with Ohio State of all teams.
Bernard closed out the 2021 season third on the team in rushing, with 529 yards and two scores on 87 carries in 14 games. He was second in rushing this season, with 533 yards and four scores on 106 carries in 14 more appearances.
Over the last two years, Bernard also added 60 receptions for 565 yards and another three scores.
Only Tavion Thomas has had more than Bernard’s 253 total touches over the last two years. Utah is losing both this offseason.
However, the running back room seems to be in decent shape as Utah heads into 2023. Freshman Jaylon Glover flashed throughout the season, with 360 yards and four scores on 78 carries. The Utes also signed 4-star Wichita (Kan.) Heights running back John Randle Jr. in the 2023 class.
But Bernard’s departure would seem to further reinforce the notion the leading job in the Utah backfield is Ja’Quinden Jackson’s to lose.
A mid-season convert from quarterback to tailback, Jackson flourished down the stretch. He had back-to-back 100-yard games in Utah’s win over Colorado (117, three touchdowns) and in the Pac-12 title game against USC (105, two scores). Against Penn State in the Rose Bowl, Jackson added another 81 yards and a score to finish with 531 and nine touchdowns on the season.
Jackson had double-digit carries in five of his final six appearances.