The Two-time Big South Special Teams and Defensive Player of the Week was a Buck Buchanan Award finalist and a FCS College Football Performance Award DB, National DB and National Defensive Performance Award winner. He became the all-time leader in blocked kicks this season as well as the all-time leader in career solo blocks. Bethel leads the team in tackles with 87, 3.5 of which were for a loss. He has a sack to his credit and has recorded four interceptions, one of which he ran back for a touchdown against California, where he also had a blocked punt that he ran back for a score for the team's only points of the game. Bethel was a Big South Pre-season All-Conference Selection and earned the third All-Conference nod of his career and his and PC's first Defensive Player-of-the-Year award for his performance on the field this past season. Bethel was just the second defensive back to be named Big South Defensive Player of the Year and the first since 2003. Bethel was fourth in the league in tackles, third in passes defended and second in interceptions. He recorded double-digit tackles in four games, including a career-high 15 at Furman this season. Bethel is the PC career leader in tackles, as well as interceptions.
Big South Second-Team Defensive All-Conference... Started 10 games, missing one with an injury ... Recorded a team-best 47 unassisted tackles ... Was in on 59 total stops ... 15th in the Big South in tackles per game with 5.9 ... Finished the year averaging 6.6 tackles per game in league play, which was third most ... Tallied six solo stops at Wake Forest and eight total tackles at Clemson ... Had six tackles and forced a fumble at The Citadel ... Garnered eight tackles and had a quarterback hurry against Coastal Carolina ... Posted six stops and recorded an interception, sealing the win over Gardner-Webb ... Accounted for a season-high 11 tackles against Liberty ... Blocked a kick against Stony Brook, becoming the Big South's career leader in the category ... Totaled five tackles and recovered a fumble in the win over Davidson.
Started all 11 games ... Earned second-team all-conference accolades ... Recorded a team-best 79 tackles, 55 of which were solo ... Recorded 10 stops against Elon ... Totaled four tackles including a sack at The Citadel ... Notched a season-high 13 tackles (11 solo) at Stony Brook ... Posted double figures in tackles against Liberty (11) and at Coastal Carolina (11) ... Had 4.5 tackles for loss on the year ... Forced one fumble ... Blocked three kicks, two of which came against Gardner-Webb ... Also recorded a 26-yard run on a fake punt against the Bulldogs.
Saw action in 12 games ... Totaled 54 tackles on the year, including 37 solo stops ... Had a career-high 10 total tackles at Appalachian State ... Recorded two interceptions ... Returned his first interception for 16 yards, which came against North Greenville ... Amassed four pass breakups ... Blocked two kicks, with the first coming against Western Carolina and the second at Charleston Southern.
Played for Jeremy Saitz and former PC wide receivers coach Jeff Scott at Blythewood H.S. ... Will be reunited with PC Defensive Line Coach Reuben Wright, who was the Defensive Coordinator at Blythewood during the state championship run in 2006 ... Named Blythewood's Defensive Player of the Year and Most Improved Defensive Player in 2007 ... All-region accolades in 2007.
Justin Andrew Bethel was born June 17, 1990 in Sumter, S.C. ... Son of Chris and Brenda Bethel ... Has three siblings ... Majoring in Business Administration and minoring in Music.