LINCOLN, Neb. — It’s easy to overhype recruiting news, but this one really does mean a lot.
In a surprise announcement on Friday night, 4-star corner Brendan Radley-Hiles, also known as “Bookie,” committed to Nebraska.
Radley-Hiles had previously said an announcement wasn’t coming until July, but it seems like the news just couldn’t wait. He’d been leaning hard toward Nebraska for nearly a full year, since his visit to Nebraska at the last spring game, and it seems like he thought the day before a spring game with more than 70,000 fans would be as good of a time as any.
There are a lot of reasons why this is a big deal. Some are obvious. Some are not as obvious. But let’s break down the Bookie news real quick, because it might just be the biggest commitment in the Mike Riley era.
Radley-Hiles is the No. 5 corner in the 2018 class, the No. 36 recruit in the country, and the highest-rated defensive recruit to commit to Nebraska since 2008. He has a legitimate chance in one year to start at corner for Nebraska (he’ll likely battle with 4-star Elijah Blades, a 2017 signee), and could be a guy who returns kicks or punts. If he was in Lincoln right now, he still could probably see the field.
Check out his film:
As we wrote about not long ago, Radley-Hiles has the potential to make waves in the 2018 recruiting class. If you’ve seen the small black flag emoji that recruits use, that was something Radley-Hiles started. And his commitment means there could be some more not far away.
He’s one of the most popular recruits on social media, both with fans and with other recruits. He’s played for Bishop Gorman in Vegas, Calabasas in California and now at IMG Academy in Florida. Three powerhouse high schools where Radley-Hiles can now start helping Nebraska recruit.
The impact is already sort of being seen. Nebraska’s 2018 class shot up to No. 17 in the country on 247sports after Radley-Hiles’ commitment. The Huskers now have five commitments, which include Radley-Hiles, 4-star TE Cameron Jurgens, 4-star WR Eric Fuller, 3-star center Will Farniok and 3-star DT Masry Mapieu.
An immediate playmaker
Radley-Hiles is a guy who will no doubt play as a true freshman.
Nebraska needs corners, badly, and with sophomore Lamar Jackson on one side, and Radley-Hiles or Blades on the other, the Huskers really won’t lose a beat when Josh Kalu and Chris Jones graduate after the 2017 season.
Radley-Hiles is also a dynamic returner, and is a guy Riley and Danny Langsdorf could no doubt find a spot for on offense. His potential is nearly limitless, and that has to excite Riley.
The Huskers just landed an incredibly special young man! He saw the vision. Time to keep it going!! #GBR ???
— Mike Riley (@Coach_Riley) April 15, 2017
A new core group
Radley-Hiles, Tristan Gebbia, Keyshawn Johnson Jr., Lamar Jackson, Tyjon Lindsey and Elijah Blades. There is your future. A 4-star QB, a 3-star WR, a soon-to-be-experienced corner in Jackson, one of the top 2017 receivers in Lindsey, one of the top 2018 recruits period in Radley-Hiles and Blades, a 4-star corner in the 2017 class.
All those guys are friends. All those guys are talented, and all are buying into Riley and his coaching staff.
It’ll be interesting, and exciting, to see where the core group progresses from here.