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Everything to know about Jared Bernhardt, former Maryland lacrosse and DII football star


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https://www.ncaa.com/news/football/article/2022-08-30/everything-know-about-jared-bernhardt-former-maryland-lacrosse-and-dii-football-star

At the risk of being accused of stealing artists work and being called mean things, I wanted to share this in-depth piece on Bernhardt.

This quote from the article really jumps out at me “After beating out the team’s seasoned QBs for the starting role, the former Tewaaraton Award winner would go on to lead the Bulldogs to an undefeated season and the program’s first-ever national championship.”


 

Everything to know about Jared Bernhardt, former Maryland lacrosse and DII football star-NCAA

As the final minutes of the Atlanta Falcons' first 2022 NFL preseason game wound down, an unlikely hero emerged to be the driving force for victory. Down three and in need of a touchdown to take the lead, quarterback Desmond Ridder completed a 21-yard touchdown pass to the sixth string receiver on the depth chart: Jared Bernhardt.

But this wideout, whose only reception in Week 1 of preseason action was the touchdown catch, is no stranger to big stages and unbelievable storylines. 

Most NFL preseason rosters are filled with recent draft picks and former DI football talent, but what many do not know is that Jared Bernhardt doesn’t belong to either of these categories. His journey to the league includes a long stretch as one of the top college lacrosse players in the country and a run to a DII football national championship as a star quarterback.

Bernhardt, who played quarterback in high school, shined as a two-sport athlete at Lake Brantley High School in Longwood, Florida. He excelled as the field general during his last two seasons at Lake Brantley, racking up over 4,000 all-purpose yards and 30 touchdowns, while dominating as an attack on the lacrosse field with 434 career points on 236 goals and 198 assists.  

In a 2021 interview with NCAA.com's Wayne Cavadi, Bernhardt explained his initial decision to pursue lacrosse over football in college despite his high school successes in both. “I didn’t think I’d have much opportunity to play football,” Bernhardt said. “Some opportunities came up and I had to have some discussions with my family. But ultimately I chose lacrosse.”

Here's a deeper look at Bernhardt's unusual and impressive success at different sports.

A record setting career at Maryland

Maryland AthleticsJared Bernhardt leads attack at MarylandBERNARDT BECOMES ALL-TIME GREAT IN MARYLAND LACROSSE PROGRAM

As the third-ranked recruit in his class, Bernhardt committed to Maryland and made an immediate impact on the squad as a freshman, helping the Terrapins to a 2017 national championship. And in the years to follow, Bernhardt would put together one of the best college careers the sport has ever seen.

CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY: Every DI men's lacrosse champion

He led the Big Ten in man-up goals as a sophomore and moved up the ranks to the program’s second all-time goals leader as a junior before starting a promising senior season that would ultimately be cut short due to the pandemic.

However, his redshirt-senior season was one for the record books. Literally. 

 

During his fifth year as a Terp, Bernhardt amassed the greatest individual offensive season in the history of Maryland lacrosse. On his road to capturing the 2021 Tewaaraton Award, which is given annually to the top male and female college lacrosse players in the country, the phenom charted 99 points, 71 goals, and 28 assists on the season while being named Big Ten’s Offensive Player of the Year and earning first-team All-American accolades from multiple outlets; he would also go on to finish atop Maryland’s career points and career goals list. 

TEWAARATON AWARD: A full history of college lacrosse's highest honor

But Bernhardt wasn't done winning titles and accolades. He traded a stick for pigskin, going up to Michigan to play football at Division II Ferris State. 

Bernhardt soars as Ferris State's QB1

USA Lacrosse MagazineJared Bernhardt shines as Ferris State QBJARED BERNHARDT COMPILES OVER 2,700 ALL-PURPOSE YARDS IN HIS SEASON AT FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY

After beating out the team’s seasoned QBs for the starting role, the former Tewaaraton Award winner would go on to lead the Bulldogs to an undefeated season and the program’s first-ever national championship. Bernhardt passed for 1,322 yards and 11 touchdowns and rushed for a team-high 1,421 yards and 26 touchdowns in his first — and only — college football season, nabbing GLIAC Player of the Year honors.

Perhaps part of Bernhardt's success on the gridiron was his ability to draw some parallels between football and lacrosse.

“The decision making — both are pretty fast, so you try to make quick decisions,” Bernhardt said of how lacrosse is helping him adjust. “I’m not up to par, there’s different coverages, whereas lacrosse I had time to build my IQ. I’m trying to grow and learn along the way."

What also helps is that Bernhardt is a freak athlete and a hard-working talent. 

Following Ferris State’s incredible season, the now 24-year old set his sights on the pros. Bernhardt put up impressive numbers at the draft combine clocking in at 4.7 seconds in the 40-yard dash; he also charted a 32-inch vertical. Despite these metrics, the quarterback turned wide receiver ultimately went undrafted in the 2022 NFL Draft before signing a priority free agent contract with the Falcons this offseason. 

From Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders to Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray, the NFL has seen its fair share of athletes who’ve previously excelled in two sports before solidifying their legacy as football players. Lacrosse phenoms turned NFL stars begins with Jim Brown and John Mackey and ends with names you’ve likely never heard of. 

Now Bernhardt is making a name while charting his own path, from DI men's lacrosse star to DII football national champion.


 

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Huge fan. Didn’t follow him at Ferris State but we followed him at Maryland. He was a stared football prospect in HS. 
My l’il baby was a HS DB and linebacker who chose D1 lacrosse over minimal FCS and D2/3 football offers. Bernhardt was an inspiration to my son through high school.  Hats off to him whether he makes the NFL grade or not. 
 

Jim Brown was another pretty good football player but in his youth he was the best lacrosse player in the country. 
Jim Brown was awarded the inaugural Tewaarton, that award only existed since 2000 but he was an all American in both sports. 
 

Football and lacrosse aren’t the same but they are very complementary. 
And unlike basketball, they have completely opposite seasons. 

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17 minutes ago, Precyse said:

Need to pay more attention to other Maryland sports if we're putting out this kind of talent. 

Maryland men's lacrosse has been a powerhouse for awhile. They just put together an undefeated season en route to a championship. Don't follow lacrosse like that but I caught one of their playoff games at a bar in Annapolis a month or so ago. Maryland also has a pretty good soccer program, and Kevin Huerter played college basketball at Maryland. It's only football that's kind of lagged behind (which well, playing in the Big 10 is gonna do that).

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44 minutes ago, Mr.11 said:

Maryland men's lacrosse has been a powerhouse for awhile. They just put together an undefeated season en route to a championship. Don't follow lacrosse like that but I caught one of their playoff games at a bar in Annapolis a month or so ago. Maryland also has a pretty good soccer program, and Kevin Huerter played college basketball at Maryland. It's only football that's kind of lagged behind (which well, playing in the Big 10 is gonna do that).

Every time I hear Huerter I’m sad we traded Red Velvet 🥺

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3 hours ago, gazoo said:

https://www.ncaa.com/news/football/article/2022-08-30/everything-know-about-jared-bernhardt-former-maryland-lacrosse-and-dii-football-star

At the risk of being accused of stealing artists work and being called mean things, I wanted to share this in-depth piece on Bernhardt.

This quote from the article really jumps out at me “After beating out the team’s seasoned QBs for the starting role, the former Tewaaraton Award winner would go on to lead the Bulldogs to an undefeated season and the program’s first-ever national championship.”


 

Everything to know about Jared Bernhardt, former Maryland lacrosse and DII football star-NCAA

As the final minutes of the Atlanta Falcons' first 2022 NFL preseason game wound down, an unlikely hero emerged to be the driving force for victory. Down three and in need of a touchdown to take the lead, quarterback Desmond Ridder completed a 21-yard touchdown pass to the sixth string receiver on the depth chart: Jared Bernhardt.

But this wideout, whose only reception in Week 1 of preseason action was the touchdown catch, is no stranger to big stages and unbelievable storylines. 

Most NFL preseason rosters are filled with recent draft picks and former DI football talent, but what many do not know is that Jared Bernhardt doesn’t belong to either of these categories. His journey to the league includes a long stretch as one of the top college lacrosse players in the country and a run to a DII football national championship as a star quarterback.

Bernhardt, who played quarterback in high school, shined as a two-sport athlete at Lake Brantley High School in Longwood, Florida. He excelled as the field general during his last two seasons at Lake Brantley, racking up over 4,000 all-purpose yards and 30 touchdowns, while dominating as an attack on the lacrosse field with 434 career points on 236 goals and 198 assists.  

In a 2021 interview with NCAA.com's Wayne Cavadi, Bernhardt explained his initial decision to pursue lacrosse over football in college despite his high school successes in both. “I didn’t think I’d have much opportunity to play football,” Bernhardt said. “Some opportunities came up and I had to have some discussions with my family. But ultimately I chose lacrosse.”

Here's a deeper look at Bernhardt's unusual and impressive success at different sports.

A record setting career at Maryland

Maryland AthleticsJared Bernhardt leads attack at MarylandBERNARDT BECOMES ALL-TIME GREAT IN MARYLAND LACROSSE PROGRAM

As the third-ranked recruit in his class, Bernhardt committed to Maryland and made an immediate impact on the squad as a freshman, helping the Terrapins to a 2017 national championship. And in the years to follow, Bernhardt would put together one of the best college careers the sport has ever seen.

CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY: Every DI men's lacrosse champion

He led the Big Ten in man-up goals as a sophomore and moved up the ranks to the program’s second all-time goals leader as a junior before starting a promising senior season that would ultimately be cut short due to the pandemic.

However, his redshirt-senior season was one for the record books. Literally. 

 

During his fifth year as a Terp, Bernhardt amassed the greatest individual offensive season in the history of Maryland lacrosse. On his road to capturing the 2021 Tewaaraton Award, which is given annually to the top male and female college lacrosse players in the country, the phenom charted 99 points, 71 goals, and 28 assists on the season while being named Big Ten’s Offensive Player of the Year and earning first-team All-American accolades from multiple outlets; he would also go on to finish atop Maryland’s career points and career goals list. 

TEWAARATON AWARD: A full history of college lacrosse's highest honor

But Bernhardt wasn't done winning titles and accolades. He traded a stick for pigskin, going up to Michigan to play football at Division II Ferris State. 

Bernhardt soars as Ferris State's QB1

USA Lacrosse MagazineJared Bernhardt shines as Ferris State QBJARED BERNHARDT COMPILES OVER 2,700 ALL-PURPOSE YARDS IN HIS SEASON AT FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY

After beating out the team’s seasoned QBs for the starting role, the former Tewaaraton Award winner would go on to lead the Bulldogs to an undefeated season and the program’s first-ever national championship. Bernhardt passed for 1,322 yards and 11 touchdowns and rushed for a team-high 1,421 yards and 26 touchdowns in his first — and only — college football season, nabbing GLIAC Player of the Year honors.

Perhaps part of Bernhardt's success on the gridiron was his ability to draw some parallels between football and lacrosse.

“The decision making — both are pretty fast, so you try to make quick decisions,” Bernhardt said of how lacrosse is helping him adjust. “I’m not up to par, there’s different coverages, whereas lacrosse I had time to build my IQ. I’m trying to grow and learn along the way."

What also helps is that Bernhardt is a freak athlete and a hard-working talent. 

Following Ferris State’s incredible season, the now 24-year old set his sights on the pros. Bernhardt put up impressive numbers at the draft combine clocking in at 4.7 seconds in the 40-yard dash; he also charted a 32-inch vertical. Despite these metrics, the quarterback turned wide receiver ultimately went undrafted in the 2022 NFL Draft before signing a priority free agent contract with the Falcons this offseason. 

From Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders to Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray, the NFL has seen its fair share of athletes who’ve previously excelled in two sports before solidifying their legacy as football players. Lacrosse phenoms turned NFL stars begins with Jim Brown and John Mackey and ends with names you’ve likely never heard of. 

Now Bernhardt is making a name while charting his own path, from DI men's lacrosse star to DII football national champion.


 

I’ll make sure I click as well to be sure that I’m not stealing food off of anyone’s table lol but seriously, a common thread I’m seeing is the team adding guys that have lots of production who expect to win. That’s goes into the overall psyche of the team. I can dig it

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36 minutes ago, PokerSteve said:

You gotta have at least a few IT Factor players if you're going to win close games. Bernhardt's got IT. 

Good observation Steve. I was thinking about that too, we are bringing in winners. It’s an attitude, a lot of these young players we’ve brought in have histories of playing really hard at a high level, Malone and Ebiketie were relentless in college, Ridder was 44-6 and never lost a game at home, these guys play to win and the culture here has changed dramatically. 
 

This is why each time I see these media mouthpieces denigrate this team I think it will just make them more resilient. 

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5 hours ago, Mr.11 said:

Maryland men's lacrosse has been a powerhouse for awhile. They just put together an undefeated season en route to a championship. Don't follow lacrosse like that but I caught one of their playoff games at a bar in Annapolis a month or so ago. Maryland also has a pretty good soccer program, and Kevin Huerter played college basketball at Maryland. It's only football that's kind of lagged behind (which well, playing in the Big 10 is gonna do that).

I'm definitely gonna have to check them out. I seen earlier that no fans came to the football game today. Smh 

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My view of that pass from Ridder to Bernhardt to win the first preseason game was on Bernhardt.  Ridder put the ball where it needed to be.  But, the defender was illegally wrestling with Bernhardt attempting to prevent him from seeing upfield or getting his body under control.  I was amazed the official did not throw a flag.  I was even more amazed to see Bernhardt get free, spot the incoming pass, and make the catch.  The guy must have sonar like a bat. 

At that moment, after one pass reception, I wanted Bernhardt to make this roster.  He has something.  Yes, one play showed it.  He has what the best winners have.  And, he is raw.  Let this guy develop and he could be a key player on our offense. 

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