Francis Bernard is rekindling his football career in XFL

ARLINGTON, Texas (ABC4 Sports) — Francis Bernard has played in two Pac-12 championship games with Utah and 21 NFL games with the Dallas Cowboys, but playing for the XFL title this Saturday is one of the biggest highlights of his career .

“I would say it’s at the top,” Bernard said. “Having played in championship games twice and in the Pac-12 championship, this is just the icing on the cake for making it here. It’s everything that every professional footballer wants to play for.”

Bernard, who was a first-team All-Pac 12 linebacker in 2019, is the DC Defenders’ lead tackler this year with 42.5 and six lost tackles. He’s a big reason the defensemen are going 10-1 into the XFL championship game against the Arlington Renegades.

Bernard hopes his game this season will earn him an opportunity to make it back to the NFL.

“Absolutely,” he said. “When I went into this thing, that was on my mind to make it back. Hopefully the game I had will give me another chance to play in the NFL.

The XFL has talented players and some new rules like a 3-point conversion. Holding its championship game on ABC should raise awareness of the league.

“The league has so many unique things,” said Bernard. “That and on ABC, which is one of the biggest networks, a lot of people are going to be watching, and a lot of people are going to realize that this league is actually legit.”

Bernard began his college career at BYU before moving to Utah. And the Utah-BYU rivalry will be renewed on Saturday as Bernard will face off against his old BYU roommate, defense attorney Tomasi Laulile.

“Red and blue teams are playing against each other again, that’s crazy!” said Bernhard. “If we can, we’ll meet up for dinner and stuff. We get together and talk all the time. All of my friends whether it’s Sione Takitaki, Fred Warner, Havey Langi, Tomas Laulile, Cody Barton, Chase Hansen, Devin Lloyd, the guys I was super close with, we all had a chance to play in the NFL. Some of us still play in the NFL.”

So how much longer will the 28-year-old Herriman High School graduate pursue his NFL dream?

“I’ll play as long as I can until nobody knocks on the door anymore,” said Bernard. “Or until I literally stop kicking down the doors physically to give myself opportunities.”

You can watch Bernard and the defenders take on Arlington on Saturday at 6 p.m. on ABC4.


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