“I had talked with Notre Dame a little bit back and forth before today, but this was the first time we really had a solid conversation,” Bethel said. “I saw Coach Alford as he was leaving our school, and I briefly talked to him. He told me that he was looking forward to going through this process with me, and he was excited to recruit me.”
Asked what stands out to Bethel about Notre Dame early in the process, and he’s well aware of the Irish’s long-standing tradition.
“History, I know they have a long history of having a successful football team and producing great players and putting a lot of players in the NFL,” Bethel said. “Coach Alford also told me today Notre Dame’s graduation rate for its players and how highly ranked their business and economic programs are.”
Bethel’s father, Randy Bethel, played tight end for Miami from 1988-1990. Despite ties to the Hurricanes, the 6-foot-3, 244-pound defensive end maintains he’s going through the recruitment process with an open mind.
“No, I don’t have any favorites,” Bethel said. “I’m keeping an open mind throughout this process, especially right now because it’s so early.”
Bethel was also offered by N.C. State on Tuesday. His offer list includes the likes of Arkansas, Florida, Florida State, Kentucky, Louisville, Miami, Tennessee and Wake Forest. No visits are currently lined up for the spring. Bethel has taken previous trips to Florida, Florida State and Miami.
“Nothing in particular is set up,” Bethel said. “Getting to the Florida schools is easy, so I will try to get there as much as possible. I’m still trying to get stuff worked out with the other schools right now. I personally want to visit everywhere I can this spring, but that’s something I’ve got to talk with the folks about. I wish I could just drive everywhere, but I can’t.”
Vero Beach head coach Lenny Jankowski offered high praise for his junior lineman.
“He’s the total package,” Jankowski said. “He’s strong, he’s quick, he plays with a lot of energy, he finishes plays, he’s an extremely hard worker and a smart player. His athleticism for a 240-pound guy has allowed him to do a lot of things for us.”
“I love rushing the passer,” Bethel said. “Part of being on a team is making sacrifices, so I will move inside and run stop, too, but I really like rushing the passer.”