In this installment of the Recruit Notebook, we meet an under-the-radar recruit whose talents, namely speed, could end up being a nice addition for the Canes: CB Nigel Bethel.
Throughout the course of the 2018 recruiting cycle, the Miami Hurricanes evaluated a number of prospects. One of the players Miami liked as a backup option at CB was Miami (FL) Northwestern CB/WR Nigel Bethel.
At 5’11” 160lbs, Bethel is slight of build, but that allows him to use his blazing track speed to great success on the field. He was one of the best playmakers for his HS team, and routinely played a major role in big games for the Bulls.
Throughout the cycle, Bethel said in interviews that Miami was interested in him, but didn’t (at the time) have a scholarship for him to be in this class. Further reports made it clear that Bethel was the #1 option for Miami should they lose a commitment from a DB. When former commit Josh Jobe finally announced his long-anticipated flip to Alabama the night before the Early Signing Period in December, all eyes went to Bethel as the ready-made replacement.
In HS, Bethel played offense and defense for Miami Northwestern, spending most of his senior season on the offensive side of the ball. This was due to the fact that they wanted to use his electric speed to score points, and the fact that Northwestern had 2 other CBs who were FBS recruits and more polished at that position for this season.
In addition to being a known commodity on the gridiron, Bethel is a member of Miami Northwestern’s legendary track team. He’s the “South Florida speedster” that many teams around the county would love to have on their roster, but he’s staying home to play for the Miami Hurricanes.
On the 247sports composite, Bethel is a 3-star prospect, the #114 CB in this class, #201 in the State of Florida, and #1293 recruit overall.
Bethel committed to Miami over UCF and Florida from a list of 13 scholarship offers from around the country.
Bethel as a Player
The thing that stands out about Bethel on the football field is his speed. He’s a legit threat to score the ball anytime he has it, and has elite level track speed to burn. Bethel is a member of Miami Northwestern’s legendary track team, and that speed translates well to the football field.
Bethel can use development as a defensive back, however. He rarely played that position as a senior in HS, spending the majority of his time on offense for the Bulls. Obviously, recovery speed such as Bethel possess would be a benefit if he were beaten deep, but consistent coverage technique is severely lacking at this time.
At 5’11” 160lbs, Bethel is built like a track athlete more than a football player. He will need to develop physically — even 10lbs can be beneficial — to find consistent playing time on defense.
On offense, Bethel has great run-after-catch instincts and ability, and that should translate well to the return game. Bethel is a dangerous man in the open field, and could be a very good punt or kickoff returner. Speed is something you can’t teach, and boy does he have a lot of it.
- Open field running ability
- Return ability
- Lack of experience at CB
- Physical development
Bethel was a late addition to the class, but he has at least one Miami-caliber trait: speed. He isn’t a 1-to-1 replacement for a Josh Jobe (or other premium DB prospect), but he is an intriguing developmental player moving forward.
Chance for a redshirt: 6/10
Bethel’s path to playing time in 2018 is likely on Special Teams only, with snaps on base defense coming in the future.
That’s it for this installment of the recruit notebook.