Fresh off their first state championship in a decade, Bull Pride was beaming in a packed media center at Northwestern High School on Wednesday morning when a dozen members of the football team had their name tags on the table with contracts and pens in front of them.
And leading the Bull parade was 4-star defensive back Nigel Bethel Jr., who didn’t bother bringing different hats to the table. Bethel Jr. only had one, and it had a big green and orange U on it as he signed to be a University of Miami Hurricane and donned the hat as the media center roared with approval.
“It’s been a long process, but I’m happy that it’s all over, and I’m going to be a Cane,” said Bethel Jr., who is projected to play cornerback and be a return specialist as well. “What can I say? It’s Miami. It’s all about the U. It’s all about the swag. I never waned to go anywhere else and now it’s time to go to work.”
Bethel Jr. was a key contributor down the stretch, contributing to the Bulls’ state title run in November and December, and also had offers on the table from Georgia, Louisville and Purdue.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
“This is exciting. I get to stay home and hopefully compete for a national championship and I’m looking forward to maybe putting that big turnover chain on ...,” said Bethel Jr. “We all dream about a day like this and now it’s on.”
“He’s a special kid and going to make a great Hurricane,” said Northwestern head coach Max Edwards. “He’s one of those kids that had a ton of talent, could play on both sides of the ball and never complained a single word about whatever you asked him to do.”
Rachad Wildgoose was another member of the Northwestern defensive backfield but wasn’t as highly recruited. But an outstanding postseason that saw him make numerous big plays for the Bulls led to a late push. Wildgoose laid down four hats in front of him: UCF, Wisconsin, Georgia and North Carolina State, before picking up the red Badgers hat.
“I just really felt comfortable with all the schools but I kind of trusted the coaches more at Wisconsin and will be able to make the most of my abilities there,” Wildgoose said. “Yeah, I guess I was a late bloomer and ... I guess that’s just the way it happened, but in the end it all worked out for me.”
Miami-Dade and Broward signees
Booker T. Washington: Deltron Holloway (FAMU), Tavaris Phillips (NW Oklahoma State), Terrel Williams (Abilene Christian); Carol City: Aaron Morgan (Marshall), Gregory Grate (Middle Tennessee), Sherron Chester (Florida Tech), Mark Carter (Slippery Rock); Central: Davonta Wilson (Murray State), Michael Williams (Valdosta State), Seth McGill (Valdosta State), Malik Edwards (Valdosta State) Starreak Moncrieffe (Fort Lauderdale) Angel Lopez (Fort Lauderdale), Louis Williams (Middle Georgia State), Jaelin Creighton (Middle Georgia State), Tijuane Morton (Middle Georgia State), Amir Augustin (Florida Institute of Technology), Christopher Metayer (Florida A&M), Taurrian Stafford (Alabama State), Zeryus Coleman (Bethune-Cookman), Jeremiah Youngblood (ASA College), Rollansky Darote (Dartmouth College), Shawn Simeon (Eastern Michigan); Columbus: Tyler Harrell (Louisville), Robert Crockett (Dartmouth), Zack Castano (Morgan St.), Tony Mills (FAMU); Coral Reef: Jaylan Williams (Howard); Doral Academy: Myles Hayes (Livingstone College), Natavious Payne (Youngstown State), Antoine Rolle (West Florida), Khalonji Hill (Allegheny College), Christian Oliveros (Ft. Lauderdale); Edison: Corey del Prado (Ava Maria), Johnny Harris (ASA College); Goleman: John Correa (Brevard Coll., NC); Killian: Jalon Ferrell (UConn); Ryan Sanchez (West Florida); Krop: Lawrence Papillon (Marshall), Timothy Williams (FAMU), Edwin Reed (Mount Union), Christopher Fuzeme (Northwestern Oklahoma State); North Miami: Adler Mompremier (Coffeyville CC), Gary Britt (ASA College), Ronald Medar (ASA College), Derrick Jackson (Johnson C. Smith), Demetrie Massey (Franklin Pierce), Nicholas Days (NW Oklahoma State), Nick Louis (NW Oklahoma State), Wilfod Louis (NW Oklahoma State); North Miami Beach: Jean Desir (Northern Colorado), Marvin Francois (Morgan State); Northwestern: Nigel Bethel Jr. (UM), Rachad Wildgoose (Wisconsin), Terron Carey (Idaho State), Kiaryn Davis (Florida Tech), Sharod Oliver (West Florida), Avery Hall (NW Oklahoma St.), Davonne "Bo" Kendrick (FAMU), Billy Joseph (Independence CC), Nho Joyner (Ft. Lauderdale), Walter Fowles (Findlay OH), Andre Pinkston (Los Angeles Pierce College), Cortaland Faison (Edward Waters); Palm Glades Prep: Ashante Appleby (Buena Vista University), Ja’Morie Grier (Buena Vista), Marcus Spivey (Mesabi Range College), Frank Giralt (Mesabi Range), JaVonta Holmes (Mesabi Range), Bryan Mejias (Mesabi Range), Marc Franklin (Mesabi Range); Palmetto: Trey Flowers (Pennsylvania), Angel Martinez (RPI); South Miami: AJ Wright (Independence College, KS), Carlos Anderson (Mesabi Range), Elijah Woodley (Benedictine College), Kyle Fernandez (Westfield State), Julio Iglesias (Wisconsin Lutheran), Cameron King (Greenville University); Southridge: Jordan Dillard (FAMU), Herman Jackson (FAMU).
American Heritage: Miles Jones (Nebraska), Calvin Hart (NC State), Anthony Schwartz (Auburn), John Alyn (Columbia), Zackary Zambrano (Princeton), John Jack Fris (Lehigh), Dyllon Lester (UCF), Nesta Jade Silvera (UM), Andrew Chatfield (Florida), Patrick Surtain, Jr. (Alabama), Tyson Campbell (Georgia); Archbishop McCarthy: Carlos Ramos (Ave Maria), Andrew Hallman (UM); Calvary Christian: Robbie Evans (Delta State); Cardinal Gibbons: Carlos Sandy (Illinois), Ron Hardge (Illinois), Max Worship (Vanderbilt), Marquis Williams (Pittsburgh), Griffin Cerra (Southern Illinois), Evan Loesel (Columbia), Cam Stage (Bowling Green), Ryan Saddler (Bryant), Jordan Riggins (Morgan State); Chaminade-Madonna: Shaun Shivers (Auburn), Carlton Williams (Northwood), Xavier Williams (Alabama), Ezekiel Alexander (Northwood), Marvin Alexander (Kentucky), Thomas Bradshaw (Mount Union), Zachary Dixon (Georgia State), Logan Giordano (Eastern Michigan), Davaon Hawkins (Kentucky), Akeem Hayes (Kentucky), Tarique Livingston (Mount Union), Daniel Longman (Boston College), Cory Prince (Wofford), Justinn Richardson (Old Dominion), Sebastian Sainterling (South Florida); Coconut Creek: Timothy Scippio (Akron), Jean Estivern (Culver Stockton), Kerondo Gobern (Missouri Valley), Cody Ostillien (Ft. Lauderdale), Terry Michael (Johnson C. Smith), Chris Johnson (Johnson C. Smith), Rich Hall (Akron), Marcu Mykoo (FSU - academic scholarship; Cooper City: Michael McColgin (University of Ft. Lauderdale), Dillan Mornay (Mary-Hardin Baylor), Mark Brent (Florida Institute of Technology), Michael DiLiello (Florida Institute of Technology); Coral Springs Charter: Landon Thomas (Kentucky Wesleyan); Deerfield Beach: Kenny Bastida (Kansas), Kenneth Pickney (Whitenberg), Amari Ferdinand (Murray State); NSU University School: George Bubrick (Chicago), Antonio Revilla (Pamona College); Plantation: Eddie John (Kieser), Roshard Branch (Kieser); Pine Crest: Robert Fatovic (Cornell); St. Thomas Aquinas: Riley Allison (Valparaiso), Al Blades, Jr. (Miami), Nikolas Bonitto (Oklahoma), Cole Caterbone (Army), Coleman Crozier (Navy), Grayson Crozier (Navy), Adetutu Daranijo (Akron), Dejmi Jean (Louisville), Chad Keirnan (Mount Union), Tavares Kelly (Virginia), Jalen Mackie (Dartmouth), Kaleb McCarty (Pennsylvania), Elijah Moore (Mississippi), D’Andre Ragin (Toledo), Ryan Rhoden (Columbia), Asante Samuel (FSU), Darrell Shelton (Duke), Tyler Steen (Vanderbilt), Jason Swann (Tulane), Trenell Troutman (Louisville), Maximillian Zinn (Chicago); Somerset Academy: Armando McGee (William Penn); South Plantation: Jonathan Zuaznabar (U. of Fort Lauderdale), Markenson Mexena (Fort Lauderdale), Tyler Willis (Fort Lauderdale), Steven Greaves (Savannah State), Dawson Hill (Georgia State); West Broward: Devin Broughton (Ave Maria), Jacorey Washington (Mount Union).