Miami Booker T. Washington cornerback Nigel Bethel II decommitted from the University of Miami on Wednesday night and announced Thursday that he’s heading to Texas Tech.
Bethel, rated a four-star prospect by Rivals and ESPN, said he knew he wanted to flip his pledge for “about two months now.” He informed UM head coach Al Golden, linebackers coach Micheal Barrow and defensive backs coach Paul Williams before announcing his new pledge on Twitter a day later.
“I felt the opportunity at Texas Tech was great for me,” Bethel said. “I felt like I wanted to leave Miami and take my talents elsewhere.
“Nothing really that made me want to decommit. I just felt like getting away was a really good opportunity for me to go into a real college environment, and do what I got to do. I just don’t want to stay in Miami any longer.”
Bethel’s announcement is a major blow to UM’s Class of 2014 recruiting class, which he was a part of since committing to the Hurricanes in July. Bethel is the second decommitment in UM’s class, joining Hialeah Champagnat Catholic defensive lineman Travonte Valentine, who decommitted amid rumors of Golden leaving UM for the head coaching position at Penn State. Miami's class could also be affected by Deerfield Beach running back Brandon Powell, who picked up an offer from the University of Florida on Wednesday, and will make a final decision on Thursday to attend either UM or UF.
Bethel, who said he wanted to see more out of UM’s defensive schemes under the coaching of defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio, said going to Texas Tech will help him with “just me becoming a man, and growing up.” His mind was set on decommitting from UM, “but I never said anything.”
Along with the “great college environment” and sold out crowds of more than 100,000 people during football games, Bethel said his relationship with Texas Tech defensive backs coach Kevin Curtis was the main factor he flipped to the Red Raiders.
“I talked to [Curtis] every day, even though I was committed to Miami,” said Bethel, who took an official visit to Texas Tech on Sept. 20, 2013. “And it showed me that he wanted me.
“I just felt like he was real serious about the things he was saying.”
Bethel has until National Signing Day on Feb. 5 to make the move official. He did, however, receive an encouraging message from the UM coaches during their talk.
“They wanted me to stay and things like that,” Bethel said, “but said if I felt there was a better opportunity out there, they said they would always support me.”