Over 700 athletes entered into the draft this year from colleges all over the US. The Arizona Cardinals picked up Justin Bethel from Presbyterian. He talks about his childhood, Presbyterian, his YouTube video and thoughts about playing for the Cardinals.
Joe Gaiter: How does it feel to be an Arizona Cardinal?
Justin Bethel: It’s an amazing feeling finally to know where I’m going. I’m just ready to get there and start working.
Joe Gaiter:Where did you grow up and how was your childhood?
Justin Bethel: I had a very good childhood. I was born in Sumter SC and moved to Columbia when I was 6 years old and have lived here since
Joe Gaiter:When did you start playing football?
Justin Bethel: I started playing when I was 11. I was in the 6th grade.
Joe Gaiter:What role did Blythewood high-school play in your life?
Justin Bethel: I think it was a very important part in my life. They helped me become who I am today from the coaches to the teachers. I probably wouldn’t have ended up at PC if it was not for going there.
Joe Gaiter:Why did you choose Presbyterian College as your school of choice?
Justin Bethel: The main reason I chose PC was that my head coach from Blythewood received a job there and my senior year he offered me a full ride, and that was basically the only offer I had
Joe Gaiter:After a great season recording 87 total tackles with 3.5 tackles a sack, a forced fumble, and three blocked kicks how did it feel being named Big South Conference Defensive Player of the Year?
Justin Bethel: It was an amazing feeling. My position coach, Coach Ford, was telling me from the beginning of the season that he believed that I could do it, so that was my goal. I’m just glad to be blessed to get the opportunity to get the award.
Joe Gaiter: What will you miss most about your PC?
Justin Bethel: The people! I will really miss my friends and some of the people I built strong relationships with.
Joe Gaiter:Do you think your hard work will pay off?
Justin Bethel: Oh of course, I’m a very hard worker and I believe that if I just keep working as hard as I have been good things will come my way.
Joe Gaiter: What is your view on life?
Justin Bethel: I just think you should try and take one day at a time and do the best you can on that day.
Joe Gaiter:Now tell us about your 60-inch standing vertical jump that was posted on YouTube. Did you plan this?
Justin Bethel: (chuckles). No I never would have thought in a million years that it would have received all this attention. That day I was not even planning on doing the jump until they basically forced me to do it.
Joe Gaiter: Now with all of this new fame how have you remain humble?
Justin Bethel: Really it’s just the way I have been raised. My parents always just taught me to be humble and just work hard and let the work speak for itself
Joe Gaiter:What is your motivation on the field?
Justin Bethel: Just to be the best. I love competition, and that’s what makes me want to play. I love having to work my way through something. It’s the love of competition and being the best that has kept me going.
Joe Gaiter:Who is your agent/company and why did you choose them?
Justin Bethel: Lester Archambeau/Sport Stars. I chose them and my agent because I really felt like he was best suited to help a player in my position plus he had the knowledge from being a former player to help me through any problems that may have come along.
Joe Gaiter:Where were you when you official found out?
Justin Bethel: I was at my house and I believe the first person I called was my parents, because they were flying in from Kansas that day.
Joe Gaiter:Have you talked to any of your new coaches?
Justin Bethel: Yes, I talked to a few of the coaches. They are just all happy to have me as a part of the team and they are looking forward to be able to start working with me to make me better.
Joe Gaiter:What can you bring to the Arizona Cardinals?
Justin Bethel: I can bring a player who will be able to start or be a backup. I bring a lot of talent to the special teams and will be able to give depth at multiple positions.
Justin Bethel: Just want to thank God and Shout out to my Family and to all my coaches, and to all of the Blue Hose out there who have been supporting me.