Four-star defensive end Patrick Bethel of Vero Beach (Florida) High School has won so many honors in his career he can’t keep track of them all. But then again, Bethel admits there’s only one honor he’s really only cared about since he realized he was pretty good at this football thing -- being an Under Armour All-American.
His dream came true Friday morning when Bethel, the No. 72-ranked player in the ESPN 300, received his Under Armour All-America game jersey in front of teammates, coaches, family and friends at his high school. Bethel, one of the top uncommitted defensive prospects still on the board in the country, is still having a hard time wrapping his head around getting an opportunity to play in the most prestigious high school football all-star game in the country.
“This is such a big honor, and I’m still kind of speechless,” Bethel said. “This is an opportunity I’ve always wanted, and to get to play in a game that has had so many great players in it in the past is amazing. To put my name up there with all of those guys and the guys playing it in it this year, is something everybody around here won’t forget any time soon. It’s more than a dream come true. It’s hard to describe how big of a deal it is for my family.”
After releasing a top 10 this summer of Florida State, LSU, Clemson, Miami, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Florida, Auburn, Alabama and Virginia Tech, Bethel continues to slow play the recruiting process. He’s taken two unofficial visits since the summer to Miami, where his father attended school at, and he was at Florida this past weekend. Bethel hopes to release a top five in the upcoming weeks and many expect Auburn, Florida LSU, Miami and Tennessee to be sure bets to make that group.
Six questions with Patrick Bethel
Who is the best player to have played in the Under Armour All-America Game?
“I believe Leonard Fournette is the best to play in the Under Armour All-American Game. He is an excellent player, and he was great in the game and doing big things for LSU.”
What players are you looking forward to competing with or against at the UA All America Game?
“I look forward to playing against and with everybody. I know that everybody will be very exceptional ball players, so I am going to love it.”
What was your earliest football memory?
“My earliest memory is playing flag football for the Raiders. We went undefeated until the last game, and we lost to my cousin Jaylen. I’m still mad all these years later.”
Which football player did you watch as a kid?
“As a kid, I didn’t really watch football because I was always playing. But now I enjoy watching the Texans defensive line, the Dolphins defensive line and a couple of other guys.”
If you could challenge any pro athlete in their sport, who would it be?
“I would challenge Floyd Mayweather. I feel like he is not a good enough boxer to handle me. He is defensive, and I’d find his weakness. Plus, I would get paid.”
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
“People will be surprised to know that I love the violin and grand piano, also that I love the water and water sports. I also don’t watch TV or football too much.”