Some players with early scholarship offers from non-BCS football teams opt to wait out the recruiting process and see if they can score an offer from a bigger program. A pair of Wise offensive standouts, though, decided that the opportunity to play for one of division I-AA’s powerhouse teams was just right for them.
Bethea rushed for 1,655 yards and 24 touchdowns last season as the Pumas advanced to the Maryland 4A championship game
“This recruiting thing is crazy, you have teams coming at these kids and saying, ‘We like them, we like them.’ Oh yeah? Well when are you going to offer?” Wise Coach DaLawn Parrish said. “They say they want to see him some more and then those same schools get mad when they commit to another school. They say, ‘Coach, why did you let him commit so early we were looking at him? You know, we do things different over here.’ Yeah? Well you offered the kid from DeMatha, you offered the kid from Good Counsel.”
At James Madison, Bethea and Pascal will join a pair of former Wise standouts, redshirt freshman defensive lineman Anthony McDaniel and freshman defensive back Deandre Smith.
Smith had several scholarship offers entering last season, then saw many pulled back as colleges filled their slots with other players. James Madison had rescinded its offer but later reinstated it when it had an unexpected opening.
“You wait around sometimes and you lose scholarships,” Parrish said.
Bethea also had a scholarship offer from Towson, while Pascal had been offered by Bryant.