Bernard, considered the top available running back entering April’s NFL Draft, had an All-American season with 1,228 yards and 12 TDs rushing, 47 catches for 490 yards, 5 TDs and two punt returns for scores. He was one of five running backs from Aquinas on college rosters — by the far most of any local school. The only ACC back to produce more all-purpose yards than Bernard was Johnson, who rolled up 2,060 yards and became the first UM player since 2005 to be recognized as an All-American.
• Receivers: Of the 85 receivers from Dade and Broward on FBS rosters, nine — West Virginia’s Stedman Bailey (Miramar); Marshall’s Tommy Shuler (Central); Duke’s Conner Vernon (Gulliver); Alabama’s Amari Cooper (Northwestern), FAU’s William Dukes (Dillard), Miami’s Phillip Dorsett (Aquinas), UCF’s J.J. Worton (South Dade), FIU’s Wayne Times (Northwestern) and Florida State’s Rashad Greene (Florida State) — led their respective teams in receiving.
Times, a senior, and Cooper, a true freshman who helped lead the Crimson Tide to their third national title in four years with a 1,000-yard receiving season, were among eight former Bulls with a catch in 2012.
Northwestern tied Central (21 players) for the most players at the FBS level in Dade; Aquinas led Broward with 35.
• Offensive line: A total of 48 offensive lineman from South Florida were on FBS rosters, 16 of which were starters and 18 were backups. UCF center Jordan Rae (Cypress Bay) and Rutgers guard Antwan Lowery (Columbus) were the only two selected to their respective conference first teams.
• Defensive line: The second South Florida player projected to be taken behind Geno Smith in April’s NFL Draft, Auburn defensive end Corey Lemonier (Hialeah) was one of just three defensive linemen from Dade or Broward to earn all-conference honors. The others? FIU’s Tourek Williams (Norland) and Wisconsin’s David Gilbert (Northeast). In all, there were 57 defensive linemen on FBS rosters — 19 were starters.
• Linebackers: Former Plantation standout Ryan Shazier led an undefeated Ohio State team in tackles and earned All-Big Ten second-team honors in the process. He was one of 20 starting linebackers from the area at the FBS level and 60 overall.
• Defensive backs: A total of 137 former area players (42 starters, 59 backups) roamed college secondaries in 2012 — by far the most loaded position. Florida State had two of the best in All-ACC safety Lamarcus Joyner (Aquinas) and All-ACC cornerback Xavier Rhodes (Norland).