In the exciting USFL 2023 matchup, McLeod Bethel Thompson stands out as the team’s rising star, demonstrating his extraordinary skills to lead the Breakers to a decisive victory over the Gamblers.
Bethel-Thompson, known as one of the top quarterbacks in the USFL, also had a stint in the NFL. He began his NFL career in 2011 when he signed with the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted free agent.
Over the years, he had short stints with several NFL teams, including the Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, and San Francisco 49ers again. While he didn’t have extensive playing time in the NFL, his experience and skills have contributed to his success in the USFL.
Let’s delve into Bethel-Thompson’s college football journey and his subsequent professional career.
McLeod Bethel-Thompson College Football Career
Bethel-Thompson’s football journey began at Balboa High School, where he showcased his talents in football, basketball, and baseball. His outstanding performances attracted offers from prominent college programs, and he ultimately decided to join UCLA in 2006.
After redshirting his freshman year at UCLA, Bethel Thompson shared quarterback duties for the Bruins in 2007. He notably started in the 2007 Las Vegas Bowl, which unfortunately ended in a loss to BYU. Throughout the season, he played in five games for UCLA, completing 23 of 55 passes for 293 yards, with one touchdown and five interceptions.
Following the 2007 season, Bethel-Thompson made the decision to transfer to Sacramento State. He spent the remainder of his college career there, playing for three years. During his time at Sacramento State, he appeared in 12 games and amassed a stat line of 1,322 passing yards, seven touchdowns, and eight interceptions. After completing his junior year, Bethel-Thompson declared for the 2011 NFL Draft, embarking on his professional journey.
McLeod Bethel-Thompson Professional Career
After going undrafted in the 2011 NFL Draft, Bethel Thompson signed with the San Jose SaberCats of the Arena Football League. He played in three games for the SaberCats before transitioning to the NFL. Bethel-Thompson joined the San Francisco 49ers but saw limited playing time during his time with the team.
Following his stint in the Arena Football League and a brief period with the 49ers, Bethel-Thompson joined the Sacramento Mountain Lions of the United Football League. He competed for the starting quarterback position and eventually started the last two games of the season.
Bethel-Thompson’s professional journey then took him to several NFL teams, including the Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers (for a second time), New England Patriots, and Philadelphia Eagles. During this time, he primarily served as a practice squad player or backup quarterback.
In 2015, Bethel-Thompson ventured into the Canadian Football League (CFL) and joined the Toronto Argonauts. He found success with the Argonauts, winning two Grey Cup championships in 2017 and 2019. He showcased his skills and earned individual accolades, including being the CFL passing leader in 2022 and leading the league in passing touchdowns in 2019. Bethel Thompson was also recognized as a two-time CFL East All-Star.
Currently, Bethel-Thompson is playing for the New Orleans Breakers in the United States Football League (USFL). He has been performing exceptionally well, leading the league in passing. His strong showing has helped the Breakers secure a spot in the postseason as the South Division No. 2 seed, with a record of 7-3. The team is set to face the Birmingham Stallions, the No. 1 seed, in the USFL South Division Championship.
Throughout his professional career, Bethel-Thompson has showcased his skills and resilience as a quarterback, moving across different leagues and teams. Although his playing time in the NFL was limited, he gained valuable experience and continued to refine his abilities in other football leagues such as the Arena Football League, United Football League, Canadian Football League, and now the USFL.
Bethel-Thompson’s dedication and perseverance have allowed him to contribute to the success of the teams he has played for, earning recognition as one of the top quarterbacks in the USFL and garnering achievements in the CFL. His journey serves as an inspiration to aspiring football players, demonstrating that hard work and determination can lead to success in the professional football arena.
McLeod Bethel-Thompson’s football journey has been one of resilience and adaptability. From his college years at UCLA and Sacramento State to his stints in the NFL, CFL, and now the USFL, Bethel-Thompson has showcased his skills and dedication as a quarterback.
Despite facing limited opportunities in the NFL, he has found success in other football leagues, proving his ability to excel on different stages. Bethel-Thompson’s story serves as an inspiration, emphasizing the importance of perseverance and seizing opportunities along the path to success.
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