Editor’s note: Nebraska football commit Brendan “Bookie” Radley-Hiles, the Huskers’ top-ranked 2018 recruit, will contribute a weekly first-person story to Land of 10. Here is the fifth installment, as told to beat writer Erin Sorensen.
After nearly two weeks of being away, I am finally back in Bradenton, Fla. I arrived back at IMG around 7:30 p.m. Sunday night.
There wasn’t too much damage at IMG from Hurricane Irma, thankfully. A few gates were damaged, including one that’s now leaning over. And there are some trees that are crooked, but it’s OK.
When IMG originally cancelled classes, many of my classmates opted to stay. They moved to a shelter in East Bradenton that was more inland and away from the gulf. They were safe there and only experienced a little rainfall.
As for me, I decided to leave because of my sister’s friend that lived through Hurricane Katrina. He lived in New Orleans at the time, and his house was flooded and destroyed. When I was younger, I’d ask why his family left and he said that his parents would listen to the reports and decided not to take the storm lightly.
When I realized that Hurricane Irma was coming our way, I remembered his words. I also did my own research and I didn’t want to take my chances. I didn’t want to be in that situation.
Now that the storm has passed, I’m glad to be back at IMG. However, after nearly two weeks off from classes, I sort of forgot my schedule Monday morning. I had to reprint it and find my way back to classes like it was Day 1.
It’s also back to football. In some ways, it’s like starting over, but we expect to work at a fast-tempo pace here. The IMG way is that the best is the standard. That’s how we see it.
The time off does add more pressure, though. We play [Miami] Central this week and we’re expected to be perfect. We’re expected to be conditioned for a Week 5 matchup, and this is really our third game.
But it’s going to be exciting because I haven’t had football for a while. There’s a major difference between training and actually being on the field. It’s really going to be exciting and I’m glad to be back with my team. I’m also glad to be in the position I am to lead this team and lead the defense. All around, it’s a good feeling to be back.
It’s also a good feeling to be at home this week for the matchup. It’s cool because you get to see a lot of the students come out and they’re from all over the place. After the games, you’re taking pictures with people from all different parts of the country. In the long run when you look back at it, it’s an awesome feeling.
There were a lot of lessons that I learned over the last couple of weeks. This is my first natural disaster that I’ve experienced. A hurricane is big time, so I learned what it feels like to be involved in something of this magnitude. I also learned how to respond to something like this.
And on the topic of lessons, I have just a little something to say to Nebraska after Saturday’s game. I always say there is no such thing as a loss. There are only lessons.
Any time, I guess, you could say that you lost, you just ran out of time to come back. But I never look at it as a loss. It is a lesson. And how you respond to the situation makes you who you are.
That’s what defines your character.
Miss a week of Bookie’s senior season diary? Catch up here.