|No. 31 Arizona Cardinals|
|Date of birth:June 17, 1990|
|Place of birth: Sumter, South Carolina|
|High School: Blythewood (SC)|
|NFL Draft: 2012 / Round: 6 / Pick: 177|
|Debuted in 2012 for the Arizona Cardinals|
|* Arizona Cardinals ( 2012–present)|
|Roster status: Active|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2012|
Justin Bethel (born June 17, 1990) is an American football cornerback for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League. He was drafted in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Cardinals. He played college football for Presbyterian College.
Bethel attended Blythewood High School where in 2007 he was named Blythewood's Defensive Player of the Year and Most Improved Defensive Player. He helped the team win the State Championship in 2006.
Bethel did not receive much interest from college football programs, and he planned to study culinary arts at Johnson & Wales University, until his high school coach was hired to be a coach for the Presbyterian College Blue Hose. Bethel decided to attend Presbyterian, and majored in Business Administration.
Bethel played in 12 games during his freshman season, amassing 54 tackles and 37 solo tackles. He had 2 interceptions and two blocked kicks.
2009 was a breakout season for Bethel. He had a team-best 79 tackles during 11 games, 55 of which were solo. He blocked 3 kicks, two in a game against Gardner–Webb University. He also forced one fumble and had 4.5 tackles for a loss. For his efforts, he was named to the Big South Conference All-Conference Second-Team Defensive squad.
Bethel caught the attention of pro scouts with a strong performance at the East-West Shrine Game, and because of a YouTube video showing him making a vertical leap onto boxes five feet high. At the NFL Combine his meaured vertical leap of 39½ inches was the highest of any defensive player. Ultimately he was drafted by the Cardinals in the sixth round, making him the first Presbyterian player chosen in the NFL Draft since 1969. In Week 16 against the Chicago Bears, Bethel recovered Olindo Mare's blocked field goal and returned it 82 yards for a touchdown, though Chicago won 28-13.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Josh Kendall, "Bethel ready to cook in new career: A baker by trade, former PC star could have NFL future", The State, February 27, 2012.
- ↑ Darren Rovell, "Draft Sleeper Justin Bethel Turns Heads By Jumping Five Feet In The Air, CNBC.com, April 23, 2012.
- ↑ "Arizona finally addresses line with Saturday picks", Associated Press at SI.com, April 28, 2012.
- ↑ "Blythewood's Bethel Agrees To Contract With Cardinals", WLTX, May 15, 2012.
- ↑ McManaman, Bob (2012-12-23). "Bears 28, Cardinals 13". Yahoo! Sports. http://sports.yahoo.com/news/bears-28-cardinals-13-010010621--nfl.html. Retrieved 2012-12-23.