NFL rookie Giovani Bernard is living his dream. He was signed by the Cincinnati Bengals in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft and ultimately awarded with a $5.253 million dollar contract along with a $2.2 million signing bonus. The rookie's multimillion dollar contract is far more than most rookies will ever see in their first year in the NFL.
But you wouldn't know any of that based on his modest lifestyle.
ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 08: Giovani Bernard #25 of the Cincinnati Bengals rushes against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on August 8, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. Credit: Getty Images
Bernard doesn't even own a car, opting to drive his girlfriend's mom's Honda minivan instead, as shown on last week's "Hard Knocks" episode on HBO.
"It's a car that gets me from point A to point B," Bernard said during a recent interview. "It's definitely good on gas."
And rather than spending millions of his newly-found fortune on an expensive house, Bernard found a modest apartment that was close to his job at Paul Brown Stadium.
"After so many stories of athletes spending their money as soon as they get it, then coming to the end of the line as a player and not having anything, Bernard's story is nice to hear. He heard about the horror stories and it stuck with him," Yahoo! Sports' Frank Schwab writes.
Bernard said he is focused on the importance of "being smart with what you get."
"You take that into account. Whether it's being thrifty, frugal – whatever the word might be," he added.
Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (25) looks on during a joint practice with the Atlanta Falcons at NFL football training camp at the Falcons' practice facility, Monday, Aug. 5, 2013, in Flowery Branch, Ga. Credit: AP
Meanwhile, the rookie seems to be laser-focused on contributing to his new team right away and achieving success.
"I just want to establish myself on the team and in the NFL. Whatever it takes, I want to do it. I don't set out and say, 'I want 1,000 yards rushing' or a certain amount of receiving yards or anything like that. That's not how I play the game. I go out there just to win," he said.
Watch video of Bernard's interview here.