Jared Bernhardt Named GLIAC Player of the Year

PHOTO BY LUKE WYCKOFF / FERRIS STATE ATHLETICS

In Jared Bernhardt's first game with Ferris State, he scored seven touchdowns.


What Jared Bernhardt is doing on the gridiron this season is downright nutty, especially when considering that less than six months ago, he was hoisting the Tewaaraton Award as the top men’s lacrosse player in the country.

When Bernhardt, a decorated high school quarterback out of Lake Brantley (Fla.) High School, transferred to Ferris State after his run at a national championship with Maryland fell just short, few doubted how his athletic ability would translate back to football. But it was reasonable to question just what type of impact he’d make after being so far removed from the game.

Bernhardt had practiced with Ferris State before the Division II football season was canceled last fall, ultimately setting up his return to Maryland for one final year. But he hadn’t seen any game action with Ferris State.

He was off and running in his first game this fall, completing 12 of 14 passes for 218 yards and three touchdowns and rushing 12 times for 120 yards and four touchdowns. It was a sign of things to come.

Last week, Bernhardt was named the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference player of the year on the heels of his team’s undefeated 10-0 regular season. The Bulldogs host the winner of Grand Valley State and Longwood on Saturday at 1 p.m. in the NCAA Division II playoffs.

Bernhardt becomes the third straight Bulldogs player to earn the player of the year nod and fifth in the last seven seasons. In only seven games, he rushed for 995 yards and 16 touchdowns and threw for 1,105 yards and nine touchdowns.







His decision to play football was in part to reignite his love for the game while also honoring his late father, Jim, who died in 2019 at the age of 63 after battling cancer.

“I’ve got a replica of one of his family rings and stuff,” Bernhardt said on Glenn Clark Radio on Nov. 5. “I always kind of pay attention to that, and [it’s] always kind of with me along this journey, which is special. Obviously, wish he could be here to go along with me.”

Jim Bernhardt was a two-sport athlete at Hofstra. He coached football at Hofstra, Brown, Central Florida and Penn State and was the director of football research for the Houston Texans from 2014-17.

Being part of Ferris State’s second-ever national championship would be the cherry on top of an already remarkable 2021 for Jared Bernhardt. He effectively quarterbacked the Maryland offense with the same precision and athleticism that he’s using to literally quarterback the Bulldogs.

Talk about a multi-sport athlete.

JARED BERNHARDT IN 2021

LACROSSE

  • National championship runner-up

  • Tewaaraton Award winner

  • Became all-time Maryland leader in points (290) and goals (202)

  • 71 goals

  • 28 assists

FOOTBALL

  • Undefeated regular season

  • GLIAC Player of the Year

  • 995 yards rushing with 16 touchdowns

  • 1,105 yards passing with nine touchdowns

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