After scoring 78 points and being named a Tewaaraton finalist, Jared Bernhardt will be called on for leadership at Maryland this spring before pursuing a potential college football season.

Work Ahead Before Bernhardt Chases Gridiron Dream

Jared Bernhardt continued the family tradition when he came to Maryland to play lacrosse, following older brothers Jake and Jesse. The story almost wrote itself, especially when Bernhardt helped the Terrapins win a national title as a freshman and then gradually blossomed into one of the top players in the country over the last two seasons.

From the outside, one curious bit of his bio — Navy’s recruitment of him to play football — always stood out. It did for Bernhardt, too, since he plans to play football as a graduate transfer somewhere next fall.

“I never really thought that would come about, and obviously chose to play lacrosse,” said Bernhardt, who entered his name into the transfer portal late in the summer so he could explore his football options. “I think some of the pros outweighed some of the other things with football, so I took that route. It’s always been in the back of my mind.”

Bernhardt is far from the first lacrosse player who was invested in another sport. There’s the famous example of Jim Brown, of course, but more recently Will Yeatman played both football and lacrosse at Notre Dame and Maryland.

Defending Tewaaraton winner Pat Spencer will play basketball at Northwestern this winter after a stellar lacrosse career at Loyola. And Thomas O’Connell, Bernhardt’s former teammate and a defensive midfielder during his time at Maryland, walked on to play basketball at St. John’s this year as a graduate student.

It might be difficult for Bernhardt to get a look at quarterback, his high school position, though that didn’t stop former Duke point guard Greg Paulus from doing so at Syracuse as a graduate transfer in 2009. But there’s little question he will be an asset for whatever team he chooses and whatever position he plays.

"Some of the pros outweighed some of the other things with football, so I took that route. It’s always been in the back of my mind." — Jared Bernhardt

“Everyone who will call myself or anyone in college lacrosse is going to get a glowing recommendation for his character and the type of guy he is,” Maryland coach John Tillman said. “What he’s done has been pretty impressive. You’ll get value added in your locker room because he will not be a distraction and will work hard for you.”

That much is obvious from the last three springs. He has twice earned all-Big Ten honors and was a Tewaaraton finalist in 2019, when he scored multiple goals in every game, had 11 hat tricks and piled up 51 goals and 27 assists as a junior.

He sits at No. 11 on Maryland’s career goals list with 111, 44 behind former teammate Matt Rambo. With 162 points, he’s well within range of becoming the sixth Terp to amass 200 in a career, a list with such luminaries as Rambo, Bob Boneillo, Joe Walters, Ray Altman and Frank Urso.

But success for Bernhardt could very well be defined by helping Maryland return to what had become its customary spot on Memorial Day weekend. The Terps’ five-year semifinal streak ended last year with an overtime quarterfinal loss to eventual winner Virginia, and it’s safe to assume Maryland will be hungry after graduating only 18.13 percent of its scoring.

“I think we have a lot of potential,” Bernhardt said. “Last year we threw in some guys that maybe hadn’t played as much in their time here. Coming into this fall, they have a little bit of experience under their belt, and that helps. It’s just being comfortable out on the field and a lot of it slows down for them. I think we have a lot of guys where that’s exactly what’s happening.”

There’s a role for Bernhardt to play off the field, as well, and it’s one Tillman remembers was similar for both of the attackman’s older brothers. Bernhardt is the only senior among the Terps’ four captains, and he’s likely to have more of a literal say on the direction Maryland goes this spring.

“When he does say something, it is very well received, and when he says something, guys do it,” Tillman said. “It’s just getting him being comfortable being that guy. Sometimes you’d like guys to be well said and he’s more well done, but we need him to be both to make sure he’s directing the younger guys. He’s done a good job so far.”

There’s still a lot for Bernhardt to sort out with his football pursuit. But that can monopolize his attention sometime in late May.

For now, there is the matter of trying to leave Maryland’s lacrosse program the way he came in --- by securing a national championship.

“This a new team this year moving forward and I’m focused on that right now,” Bernhardt said. “The football stuff will come eventually.”


Maryland has upgraded its already tough regular season schedule. The Terps will face off against Virginia for the first time in the regular season since 2014 and also added High Point.

Fall Ball Focus

It’s another wide-open Maryland goalie competition.

Danny Dolan graduated after a one-year starting stint, leaving the Terps with uncertainty in the cage for the second consecutive offseason.

It’s a four-way race, though Colin Miller was sidelined in the fall with shoulder surgery. Drew Morris logged 14 minutes last season over six games and is back, but Maryland also added Georgetown transfer Chris Brandau (10.01 GAA, .552 save percentage in nine games) and freshman Logan McNaney.

“It’s really good competition,” Tillman said. “We’ll see as we go through. It reminds me of when I first got here. We had Mark White and Niko [Amato] and we didn’t make that decision until the springtime.”

The Terps have plugged some holes with transfers.

In addition to Brandau, who made 15 saves in the Big East title game against Denver and 14 against Yale in the first round of the NCAA tournament, Maryland has filled some gaps in its roster with transfers likely to see time in the spring.

Former Marquette defenseman Nick Grill, a first team all-Big East pick, is a helpful veteran pickup who will help the Terps replace the graduated Curtis Corley. Sophomore Michael Ubriaco arrives after playing in 15 games and drawing one start at long pole for Villanova. And junior Jake Higgins, who had 43 ground balls last season at Cleveland State, will help deepen the Terps’ group of short stick defensive midfielders.

The nonconference schedule was upgraded (again).

There might not be a coach in Division I more determined to maintain a high strength of schedule than Tillman, who can thank that in part for the Terps earning the last at-large slot in the NCAA tournament field last year.

Maryland will face Virginia in the regular season for the first time since departing the ACC after the 2014 season, and it will open against High Point on Feb. 1 in College Park. Those two schools replace Bucknell and Colgate on the Terps’ schedule.