Former Maryland Lacrosse Player Jared Bernhardt Makes Atlanta Falcons 53-Man Roster as Wide Receiver

by MCS Staff

Jared Bernhardt was on the men’s lacrosse team at the University of Maryland for five seasons. He led Maryland as the school’s career leader in goals with 202 and points with 290. In 2021, his fifth season with Maryland (one season was cancelled due to Covid-19), he won the Tewaaraton Award as the nation’s best collegiate player. On Tuesday, he made the Atlanta Falcons roster as a wide receiver.

Bernhardt isn’t a stranger to football– he played football in high school in Florida, where he was a quarterback in a triple-option offense and compiled more than 4,000 all-purpose yards and more than 30 touchdowns over his final two seasons. Following the death of his father, who was a football coach at Hofstra, Brown, Central Florida, and Penn State and was the director of football research for the Houston Texans, Bernhardt decided that he would utilize the NCAA’s “five to play four” rule, which allows athletes one year of eligibility in another sport after they have exhausted eligibility in their primary sport, and play college football.

He committed to play quarterback at Ferris State for the 2020 season, but the Division II football season was canceled due to COVID-19 and he stayed at Maryland for an additional season of lacrosse. Bernhardt enrolled at Ferris State as a graduate transfer in the summer of 2021 and was named the team’s starting quarterback. In his only season of college football, Bernhardt passed for 1,322 yards and 11 touchdowns while rushing for 1,421 yards and 26 touchdowns and was named the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year as the Bulldogs went 14-0 and won the 2021 NCAA Division II Football Championship Game.

Bernhardt participated in Maryland’s pro day on March 30, 2022 and went on to sign with the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent. On Tuesday, he survived “final cuts” presumably making the Falcons final 53-man roster heading into the regular season.

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