Germie Bernard committed to the University of Washington football program before anyone else in the class of 2022. He's maintained his pledge throughout much of the pandemic. And through the defection of a pair of his high school teammates.
The wide receiver from Liberty High in Henderson, Nevada, remains resolute about playing for the Huskies, so it was no surprise that he came to Seattle on an unofficial visit this weekend.
"It feels just like home," Bernard said on the first day of the city's searing heat wave.
While the weather felt oddly similar to the triple-digit temperatures that often encompass the Las Vegas area, he was referring to the comfort levels he experienced from being around his future teammates and coaches.
"It was the greatest feeling when I walked in today," he said. "Everybody greeted me when I walked in."
In fact, Bernard feels so comfortable at the UW he plans on accelerating his Northwest arrival and moving here once his final high school football season is finished.
"I'll sign during the early signing period and enroll in January," he said.
While on this visit, Bernard will be able to have an extended conversation with his position coach Junior Adams and really launch their relationship, focusing more on the game.
"This will be my first opportunity to talk with him about football, really," Bernard said. "I talk with him every day and it's about school, family, things like that."
At 6-foot-2 and 198 pounds, the Liberty wide receiver already has worked at adding upper body strength over the past few months. He wants to come in as ready to go as much as possible.
"I want to be physical coming off of the line so that I won't get jammed," he said. "Also, it will help me win battles when the ball is in the air."
At one time, Bernard contemplated arriving at the UW even sooner by forgoing his senior year at Liberty, but he came up a class shy of early graduation.
He's ready to be reunited with current Husky players Jalen McMillan, Rome Odunze, Jabez Tinae and Sam Huard, all of whom he's either played with or against.
He's motivated by the Seattle climate as much as UW football, even though the unusual hot spell might leave him wondering what's going on. He'll consider it an anamoly.
"I'm ready to get out of that heat," he said. "I'm ready for the rain, the snow. The cold is my favorite weather."