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FSU Linebacker Tatum Bethune Packs a Punch | Commanders NFL Draft

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

Written By Adam Aniba

This year's linebacker class is full of potential, but lacks marque names, particularly at MIKE linebacker.

Florida State middle linebacker Tatum Bethune isn't a household name outside of the ACC yet, but should impress scouts during FSU's Pro Day and NFL Combine.

Tatum Bethune

6'1" 230 lbs | LB | FSU

Draft Proj Late 3rd Rd

Career Stats UCF/FSU (54 Games)- 331 TAK (178 solo), 27.5 TFL, 7.5 SACKS, 3 INTs, 9 PD, 2 FF & 1 FR

FSU '23 Stats (13 Games)- 146 TAK (75 solo), 14.5 TFL, 3 SACKS, 5 PD & 1 FR


Bethune grew up in Miami, FL and played linebacker for Miami Central High School. During his senior season the linebacker recorded 80 tackles, 24.0 tackles for loss and 14.0 sacks.

The Miami Central linebacker helped lead his team to the regional final round of the 6A state playoffs. In addition, Bethune was selected to play in Miami-Dade All-Star Game as a senior.

Bethune was rated as a 3-star recruit by ESPN and by 247 Sports. The Rockets linebacker ultimately committed to play for the UCF Knights for th 2019 season.

As a freshman in 2019, Bethune was active in 9 games and participated in 142 snaps at linebacker. He recorded 16 tackles, 4 assists, while adding 11 stops and a QB rating of 53.5 when targeted.

Fast forward to 2021 and Bethune started 12 games for the Knights (641 snaps). On the season he recorded 80 tackles with 34 assists, 2 interceptions 17 pressures, 11 QB hurries, 2 QB hits, 4 sacks and QB rating of 82.2 when targeted.

At the conclusion of the '21 season Bethune transferred to Florida State and reunited with former UCF defensive coordinator Randy Shannon, who was promoted to linebackers coach at FSU in 2022.

Bethune spoke to the Orlando Sentinel regarding his relationship with Shannon and how his decision to transfer to FSU was heavily influenced by his positional coach.

"Outside of football, me and Coach Shannon have a very strong relationship. Being able to play for him and building that bond again and being able to see him every day was great. When I realized he got the linebackers coach job a few weeks ago, it was a no-brainer."

The Seminoles senior started 12 games (444 snaps) for the Seminoles recording 52 tackles (15 assists), 2 pass breakups and QB rating when targetted As a pass rusher, he tallied 13 total pressures, which included 7 QB hurries, 3 QB hits, and 3 sacks on the season.


  • Cerebral MIKE linebacker that has the ability to direct the defense and rarely fooled by misdirection

  • Displays fluid feet and hips with the ability to recover if out of position

  • Thrives in zone coverage and man-to-man when tasked with covering TEs & RBs

  • Has the desired speed and athleticism needed to be a 3-down linebacker on the next level

  • Excellent wrap up tackler with the ability to lay the wood in the run game


  • Susceptible to be pushed off the ball in the run game by stronger RBs & TEs

  • Although a solid tackler, he's only average when asked to rush the passer

  • Will need to improve functional strength on the next level

  • Can be fooled by play action

  • Occasionally gets caught up in the wash vs the run


The Seminoles middle linebacker needs to test well during offseason workouts. His ability as an intelligent MIKE linebacker shouldn't be in question, but his size will be scrutinized during the draft process.

Former Redskins middle linebacker London Fletcher was also believed to be too small to have success as a MIKE linebacker in the NFL. The undrafted Carroll University linebacker proved his doubters wrong.

Bethune posses all the intangibles to be an effective linebacker and it'll be interesting to see his maturation during the draft evaluation process.

*GAMES Watched*

9/3/23 vs LSU, 9/16 vs Boston College, 10/21 vs Duke, 11/11 vs Miami U & 11/25 vs Florida




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