Editor’s note: Nebraska football commit Brendan “Bookie” Radley-Hiles, the Huskers’ top-ranked 2018 recruit who plays at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., is contributing a weekly first-person story to Land of 10. Here is the 11th installment, as told to beat writer Erin Sorensen.
It’s hard to believe my second bye week of the season has already come and gone. It was a good weekend, though. I visited Oklahoma with my IMG teammate T.J. Pledger and got to see firsthand what he’s told me so much about.
My visit to Norman was very cool. I had a great time and got to meet a lot of cool people. I didn’t know a lot before I went (aside from what T.J. had told me), but I did know that they had good tradition. I also knew that before last year, their president, athletic director and head coach had all been there for 18 years. It’s very stable at Oklahoma, which I liked.
I also got to meet with Coach [Lincoln] Riley and he’s very cool. I could tell that he cares for his players, and it was also crazy how young he is. I have brothers older than him, but the way he coaches and speaks to people is amazing. You’d never know he was that young based on how he carries himself.
These visits — like the one to Oklahoma and my future visit to Clemson on Nov. 18 — are a way for me to make sure I’m making the right decision. It’s as simple as that. And I know people will always have their opinions on my decision to do that, but it’s OK. I can’t let people get to me. I choose to stay positive.
As for my senior season, it’s hard to believe that I only have two more games left with IMG. We face Hoover (Alabama) this coming Friday, Bishop Sullivan Catholic (Virginia) the week after, and then our season is complete.
It kind of used to worry me when I’d think how close I was to graduation. I’d wonder if I was ready for the next step in my life, but then I locked in, took a step back and took a deep breath. I’ve been meant for this my whole life, working to get to the next level. I have never shied away from a challenge in high school, and I know I’ll never shy away from one in college.
With these final two weeks left, the goal is to get a national championship with IMG. If we can go undefeated, we have a really good shot at it because of our strength of schedule. Nobody has played as many top-ranked teams as us in the nation.
And I do plan to go out the way I came in. I came in my freshman and sophomore years of high school winning a national title, and I’m going to try to get another one before I’m out of here.
It would be the perfect ending to my senior season before the next chapter begins.
Miss a week of Bookie’s senior season diary? Catch up here.