ND on 4-star pass rusher

Patrick Bethel ranks among the nation’s top defensive ends and two Notre Dame coaches visited Vero Beach High in Florida to check out the four-star this spring.

Irish assistants Brian VanGorder and Todd Lyght visited elite strong-side defensive end Patrick Bethel of Vero Beach (Fla.) High last week during the evaluation period’s opening days.

Notre Dame has great tradition and they always have a great team with good players,” Bethel said. “I have talked with their coaches before, and they seem like good guys. They like my pass-rushing skills and get-off on the edge. They’re a team that I will do some more investigating into before I narrow my list at the end of the summer.”

Bethel, who visited LSU and Florida in the spring, plans to narrow his list of more than 20 offers to 10 before the start of his senior season.

“I am going to try to visit as many schools as possible before and then narrow my list,” Bethel said. “At the end of the day, I am talking to a lot of schools right now. I wouldn’t say I talk to some more than others because I try to talk to all of the coaches that recruit me.”

The 6-foot-3, 249-pound defensive end touts offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisville, Miami, Michigan, Mississippi, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers and Wake Forest.

“First, education will matter, “ Bethel said. “I want to go somewhere that I can be set for the rest of my life. I want a family feel with good coaches. I have to really see myself there and feel like this is home.”

The Irish have already secured a commitment from four-star defensive end Julian Okwara of Charlotte (N.C.) Ardrey Kell. Notre Dame would ideally receive commitments from two more defensive ends in this class.

Bethel is a four-star prospect and is ranked as the No. 24 defensive end in the Class of 2016.


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