Although he grew up a UM fan and had an inkling his future was in Coral Gables, Miami Booker T. Washington star cornerback Nigel Bethel wanted to confirm his feelings.
So, he took a trip with his high school teammates and head coach up to the University of Alabama and Florida State this past week to make sure there was no doubt in his mind he wanted to be a Hurricane.
It didn't take Bethel long to make up his mind. On the bus ride home from Tallahassee Friday, Bethel called UM coaches and announced his intentions. He's Coral Gables bound.
"I committed to Miami because I didn't want to leave my family and I wanted to be teammates with guys like Artie Burns and Tracy Howard," said Bethel, ranked a four-star recruit and the nation's 28th best cornerback according to Rivals.com.
"Miami is the only place I feel comfortable."
At 5-9, 175 pounds, Bethel has been a two-year starter for the nationally-ranked Tornadoes and is one of the fastest corners in the country. He ran the secod leg on Booker T.'s state championship 4x100-meter relay team and also placed second at state in the 200 meters (21.13) to earn All-Dade First Team honors. His coach Ice Harris said Bethel ran a low 4.4 the last time he timed in the 40-yard dash.
"A lot of the time our kids need to go out and see different things so they realize the best opportunity for them is at home. That's what happened in this case," Harris said. "Alabama, FSU, those are national championship programs just like Miami. Looking at where he was at and his situation, going to Miami in this case was his best fit."
The Hurricanes now have 22 non-binding oral commitments as part of the 2014 recruiting class and four defensive backs in all. Bethel is the most highly touted alongside Miami Northwestern's Ryan Mayes.
"He's a player that has a great upside," Harris said. "He's shown his development to keep getting better from year to year and is a true cover corner. We want to keep developing him. The next thing he's working on is continuing to show he can tackle going to the next level."
Bethel picked the Canes over offers from Tennessee and Kentucky according to Harris. Bethel said he has a 2.7 GPA and scored a 19 on the ACT. He wants to major in sports medicine at UM.
Bethel, who announced his commitment on Twitter, is already having a little fun with Booker T. quarterback Treon Harris, a Florida State commitment.
Better be ready boy cause I'm picking you off next year @T5_Harris— N.Bethel (@_NigelBethel) July 19, 2013