Tewaaraton Award finalist Jared Bernhardt will try to play college football as a graduate transfer following his senior season with Maryland men’s lacrosse in 2020, the team announced Thursday.
“Growing up I’ve always had a passion for the game of football, and I was incredibly blessed to have my father in my life to nurture that love of the game,” Bernhardt said in a press release. “I want to honor his legacy and live out my dream of playing college football by pursuing opportunities to join a collegiate program following my senior season of lacrosse at Maryland.”
Bernhardt’s father, Jim, who passed away in June, was an assistant for the Houston Texans as the director of football research from 2014-17.
It isn’t merely a pipe dream for Bernhardt. In fact, he received offers to play college football — including one from Navy — in high school as a triple-option quarterback for Lake Brantley High School in Altamonte Springs, Florida.
Bernhardt had over 4,000 all-purpose yards and more than 30 touchdowns in his junior and senior seasons, even being named an All-Central Florida selection after an undefeated season in his final year.
But Bernhardt decided to follow in the path of older brothers Jake and Jesse, opting to play lacrosse at Maryland. He had a standout junior season last spring, leading the Terps with 51 goals and ranking second on the team with 78 points. He was also named a Tewaaraton Finalist, consensus All-American and a First Team All-Big selection.
He’ll be back in the No. 1 jersey for Maryland this spring, but there’s a possibility he could be rocking a Terps football jersey in the near future. Bernhardt will have to enter the NCAA transfer portal first though as a lacrosse player due to certain rules. In the meantime, his focus is on helping the lacrosse team chase its second NCAA Championship.
“After numerous conversations with Jared over the years, I knew that playing college football was always a dream of his,” Tillman said. “We are supporting him during this process to help him make the best decision for his future after finishing his collegiate lacrosse career. I know Jared is incredibly excited for his senior season of lacrosse at Maryland, and he will be a great leader for us again this spring.”
In other news
Cornerback Tino Ellis will be one of three captains for Maryland football’s game against Howard on Saturday. I wrote about how his career has come full circle, given his first ever game was against the Bison.
Maryland men’s soccer had its first game of the season Thursday, ready to chase another title. Henry was there to cover the 1-0 victory over USF.
We’ll have lots more coverage of Maryland sports today, with field hockey and women's soccer both competing. Austin previewed field hockey’s first game of the season against Richmond, while Mike gives you everything you need to know for weekend competition for women's soccer.
Former Maryland linebacker Jessie Aniebonam had an interception in preseason action for the Houston Texans on Thursday. He's an undrafted free agent fighting for a roster spot, and this should certainly help his cause.
Maryland football announced its Week 1 uniforms for its matchup against Howard Thursday.
The Terps also gave fans an official look at the new Mark L. Butler Tunnell, where the team will run out of on gameday.