Draft Sleeper Justin Bethel Turns Heads By Jumping Five Feet In The Air
CNBC Sports Business Reporter
In 2008, San Jose State defensive end Jarron Gilbert was leaping up the draft boards thanks in part to a video posted on YouTube that showed him jumping out of a pool. Gilbert, who has only played in four games to date, was selected in the third round of the 2009 draft by the Buffalo Bills.
This year’s video that is making the rounds comes courtesy of Justin Bethel, a defensive back from Presbyterian, who can be seen here jumping onto boxes that are said to be stacked five feet in the air.
“That night, we were showing how our weightlifting coach, coach Taylor, had helped us get stronger,” Bethel told CNBC SportsBiz. “We were just showing off to the fans, the local people. We had some volleyball players in there and they had seen me work out before and they had seen me do these box jumps.”
The next thing Bethel knew he was being asked to do it in front of a crowd. “I’m like, ‘I guess I’m going to go ahead and do it,” Bethel said. “I didn’t know how high the boxes were.”
Bethel backed up his “ups” by jumping 39 ½ inches on the vertical leap in the combine, which turned out to be 5th best overall and tops for a defensive player.
For a player coming out of a small school, which last had a player drafted in 1960, the video is a nice marketing tool for Bethel, even though Bethel didn’t think of it himself.
Said Bethel: “I didn’t know it was on YouTube until somebody told me.”
We believe him on that one since the video is grainy and the sound is horrible.
It’s not clear when Bethel might get drafted, but in a chat on ESPN.com, Mel Kiper listed him as among the top 9 players from small colleges that could be drafted before the weekend.
Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com