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Sports >  UW football

Former Husky wide receiver signee Germie Bernard announces transfer back to Washington

Dec. 18, 2022 Updated Sun., Dec. 18, 2022 at 7:49 p.m.

Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. evades pressure from Oregon State’s Riley Sharp during a Pac-12 Conference game Nov. 4 at Husky Stadium in Seattle.  (Tribune News Service)
Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. evades pressure from Oregon State’s Riley Sharp during a Pac-12 Conference game Nov. 4 at Husky Stadium in Seattle. (Tribune News Service)
By Mike Vorel Seattle Times

Germie Bernard is back.

A year after the four-star wide receiver signed with Washington, then resurfaced at Michigan State, Bernard announced Saturday that he’ll transfer back to Seattle. The 6-foot, 200-pound wideout has three seasons of remaining eligibility.

Bernard initially signed with UW last December, but was let out of his national letter of intent after wide receivers coach Junior Adams abruptly left for rival Oregon. The Henderson, Nevada, native and Liberty High School alum followed his high-school quarterback – Katin Houser – to Michigan State, where he recorded seven catches for 128 yards and two touchdowns while appearing in all 12 games as a true freshman this fall.

But bridges weren’t burned at Washington.

“He’s a great kid and it was a crazy time that he was going through,” UW coach Kalen DeBoer said in September. “He was an early enrollee and I’m going to wish him nothing but the best. He’s a great kid, he’s a great football player and I really enjoyed getting to know him … and he’s already made some plays for them.

“There was a lot going on, not just with myself but with position coach changes. He was trying to figure out where to go and it was a short amount of time and it was all happening really fast.”

In Bernard’s absence, No. 12 Washington’s offense ascended – thanks to the nation’s most prolific passing attack. Third-year sophomore wide receivers Rome Odunze (70 catches, 1,088 yards, 8 TD) and Jalen McMillan (71 catches, 1,040, 8) became the first UW teammates to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards in the same season. Redshirt freshman Ja’Lynn Polk added 38 catches, 649 receiving yards and six more scores.

Of course, three of Polk’s touchdowns came in a convincing 39-28 home win over Michigan State on Sept. 17.

Bernard, meanwhile, failed to record a catch.

While possibly wondering what might have been.

“I think he’s a guy that probably wouldn’t have done a ton at UW this year either, because of the three guys that they have,” said 247Sports national recruiting editor Brandon Huffman. “He comes in with the understanding that, hey, he might have an opportunity to play if one of the receivers were to leave (for the NFL). But this offense is a hell of a lot better than what (MSU offensive coordinator) Jay Johnson is trying to run.”

Bernard was ranked as a four-star recruit, the No. 5 player in the state of Nevada and the No. 38 wide receiver in the 2022 class by 247Sports. He compiled 107 catches for 1,904 yards and 35 total touchdowns in two varsity seasons at Liberty and was named the 2021 Nevada Gatorade Player of the Year.

As Huffman said, both Odunze and McMillan are currently pondering NFL draft decisions, while standout quarterback Michael Penix Jr. plans to return for a sixth season in 2023. Contributing wideouts Taj Davis and Giles Jackson will also be back, and a pair of verbal commits – four-star Rashid Williams and three-star Keith Reynolds – are expected to sign with Washington next Wednesday.

(Four-star 2023 wideout Taeshaun Lyons also announced a verbal commitment to UW Friday, but he may wait until February to sign his national letter of intent.)

After reloading at wide receiver, the Huskies will play at Michigan State next fall.

With a new (and old) team in tow, Bernard will head back over the bridge.

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