In high school, Bernhardt played both football and lacrosse, but he decided to focus on the sport in college. He was the third-best recruit overall in his class when he arrived at Maryland, and he more than lived up to the billing. The Tewaaraton Award, sometimes referred to as the Heisman Trophy of lacrosse, was given to the four-time All-American in 2021. The Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year award for 2021 went to him as well.
Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, he had one year of eligibility remaining after that productive season, therefore he made the decision to transfer to Ferris State, a Division II institution, to play quarterback. Despite not playing football since 2016, he was given the starting position. Even though he was only at Ferris State for a single year, he made an impact on the team’s national victory.