In an arguably remarkable story, a former top college lacrosse player made it to an NFL 53-man roster Tuesday.
Jared Bernhardt won the Tewaarton Award as the best lacrosse player in the country in 2021 while in Maryland. The Atlanta Falcons kept him on the roster in their initial 53-man roster. Bernhardt transferred from Maryland to Ferris State where he played quarterback, and he led the Bulldogs to an undefeated season and a Division II national title.
The Falcons signed Bernhardt, who made the transition to wide receiver in May, as an undrafted free agent in 2022, and in three preseason games, the 6-foot-1, 195-pound pass-catcher caught five passes for 102 yards and one touchdown.
Of course, Patriots fans will likely be familiar with college lacrosse players turned NFL wide receivers. Chris Hogan had a nine-year NFL career, three of which were in New England. The former Premier Lacrosse League player became a reliable target for Tom Brady and was part of the Patriots’ three Super Bowl runs from 2016-2018, where they won two out of three.
After Bernhardt and Ferris State won the Division II national title, Hogan tweeted his appreciation for him being a two-sport athlete.
Bernhardt won’t have a future Hall of Fame quarterback throwing him the ball in the Falcons, but his NFL dream is kept alive by making the Atlanta roster.