Matt Bernstein
No. 44     
Personal information
Date of birth: (1982-12-26) December 26, 1982 (age 37)
Place of birth: Scarsdale, New York
Career information
College: Wisconsin
Undrafted in 2006
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
* Detroit Lions ( 2006)*
Career highlights and awards
  • N/A
Stats at
Stats at

Matt Bernstein (born December 26, 1982) is a former American football Fullback. He played college football at University of Wisconsin–Madison. He attempted to play in the Arena Football League after a stint in the National Football League with the Detroit Lions. [1][2] He was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2006. He has two brothers, Alex and Ben.

High schoolEdit

  • Two-time Class C Player of the Year selection at Edgemont Junior – Senior High School in New York.[3]
  • Played fullback, linebacker and tight end.[4]
  • Rushed for 1,885 yards and 25 scores as a junior.[3]
  • Added 37 touchdowns and 2,002 yards on the ground and made 108 tackles with seven forced fumbles as a senior, earning the prep version of the Heisman Trophy for that performance.[3]
  • Finished his career ranked third all-time in New York prep annals in scoring with 504 points.[4]
  • Con Edison Scholar-Athlete[4]


As a junior, Bernstein, who is Jewish, fasted in observance of the religious holiday Yom Kippur prior to a game against Penn State. Bernstein recovered from the fast with a "pregame IV bag, and during the game, moved on to turkey slices, fruit and the Penn State defense", according to ESPN.[5][6]

  • Produced 53 touchdown-resulting blocks for a ground game that totaled 71 rushing touchdowns during his first three seasons at Wisconsin.[4]
  • Averaged 10 knockdown blocks per game and made 11 touchdown resulting blocks as a pass protector.[3]
  • Preseason All-American and All-Big Ten Conference first-team selection by The NFL Draft Report as a senior.[4]
  • Inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.[7]
  • Started every game as a junior and finished third on the team with a career-high 300 rushing yards and a touchdown.[4]
  • Played in every game in 2003 as a sophomore and emerged as the starting fullback.[4]
  • Elroy Hirsch Football Scholarship.[8]
  • Academic All-Big Ten Conference selection as a redshirt freshman.[4]
  • Signed by the Lions as an undrafted free agent.[4]


  1. "Former Badger gets taste of Israel"[dead link], Jerusalem Post, December 29, 2006
  2. "Philadelphia Soul Sign FB's Matt Bernstein and George Layne – AFL" Script error, The Raw Feed, January 18, 2007
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Matt Bernstein Draft Profile". Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved September 1, 2007.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 "44 Matt Bernstein". Archived from the original on August 5, 2007. Retrieved September 1, 2007.
  5. Mietkiewicz, Mark. "To play or pray: Yom Kippur and Jewish pro athletes". St. Louis Jewish Light. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  6. Maisel, Ivan. "Bernstein feasted on Penn State after fasting". ESPN. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  7. Profile of Bernstein on National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame web site.
  8. Badger Chalk Talk Script error, Fall 2002, Volume 02, Issue 3.

External linksEdit

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