It's the waiting game for Bethea

It's been surprising that Palomar LB Mike Bethea (6-3,240) hasn't gotten more serious looks in the recruiting game. He had a big season for the Comets and was also named a Grid Wire All-American. Bethea spoke to recently about his two years of JC ball as well as the schools that have been looking his way...

"I was getting a lot of interest from different schools, but things just never worked out.," Bethea told recently. "I took a trip out to Missouri over the summer and they seemed really interested, but with the season they had, they had some good players go there so they sort of fell off.

"That's actually happened with a few schools. UAB was looking at me pretty seriously, but before they saw my film they had offered another linebacker and he committed so they weren't able to offer me. Then Washington State had the same thing happen and so on and so on.

"You could say it's been pretty frustrating."

After a standout high school career at La Costa Canyon High School in California, Bethea got some walk-on offers with schools like San Diego State, UCLA, Colorado and California.

"I was a full-qualifier out of high school so a lot of schools offered to let me walk on and then work on getting a scholarship, but when I sat back and sort of looked at things and talked to the Palomar coaches, it just seemed better to go JC and see what I could get after two years there," Bethea recalled. "The coaches at Palomar have been great. They've been calling coaches and sending out my tape to different schools so they have really tried to help get me moved on.

"We've sent film to Arizona and UCLA recently and I'm getting ready to send some out to some other schools. Basically, I just want to get the chance to play at the next level, so I'm open to going anywhere to play."

Bethea mainly played inside for the Comets, but he said he can play outside as well.

"With my size and the way I shed I can play anywhere at linebacker, but I've mainly played inside," Bethea said. "I had 77 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, one fumble recovery, one interception and one sack last year."

For his efforts, Bethea earned First Team All-Conference and All-State while also being named Second Team Gridwire All-American following the 2007 season.

"I worked really hard last summer on my speed and my ability to stay healthy," Bethea said. "I ran a 5.0 in high school, but I had never really trained for that. I always had football speed and never had trouble covering backs or receivers, but when I went to the combines and stuff I didn't run well so that's why I don't think I got the offers I might have if I had run better.

"Then when I got to Palomar I worked on my speed and my agility and now I run a 4.7 and I feel faster and stronger too."

Because Bethea was a full-qualifier out of high school he can leave at any time, but he will finish his two-year degree in May and wherever he ends up he'll have three years to play two when he steps on campus.

Mike Bethea Scout Profile

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