If there’s a weakness on the U’s roster this year, it may “possibly” be the defensive line. Don’t get things twisted, last season proved that four Canes in the trenches can handle any five lineman standing in front of them - either going for the sack/tackle or clogging up a hole to open another for linebackers. However, three starting DL’s left for the NFL Draft, and the most important thing for this defensive factor is to reload correctly. This is where Pat Bethel comes into play. He may not be the most recognized defensive lineman in the Hurricane roster returning for camp in August, but his development on defense and special teams may mean that we’ll be seeing this junior a bit more.
Before playing for Miami, Bethel was a three-star prospect from Vero Beach, FL with a high school career including 36 tackles, nine sacks, and two forced fumbles in his senior year alone. He chose Miami early following his final year at Vero Beach High and moved to the school in 2016. His father, Randy Bethel, used to play for Miami from 1987-1990 and contributed to the national championship victory in 89’. Pat has opened up in interviews about his recruiting process and stated that his father had no influence in his choice. This is a personal experience for Bethel, he knows of his father’s past but chooses to manifest his own destiny in Miami. The defensive tackle had playtime his freshman year and was able to see some action with only 6 total tackles. In 2017, he had 18 tackles, a fumble, one sack, and could block punts on special teams while defecting passes on defensive.
With two years of consistent progression, it’s clear that Bethel will be getting playtime this season. Miami’s defensive line is in need of players and the Junior has the skills to be an NFL prospect this year if his performance peaks. According to a recent interview with the Miami Herald, coach Joel Rodriguez talked a bit about the d-tackle, stating that Bethel may not be a “double-digit” play-maker, but his work within the different gaps should give him opportunities to make them.
Bethel currently holds a starting position, so we will be seeing what he can do against LSU in Miami’s season opener.