Brendan “Bookie” Radley-Hiles, the No. 5 cornerback in the Class of 2018, announced his commitment to Nebraska on Friday night in a touching video posted on Twitter.
Radley-Hiles, ranked No. 36 overall, is playing his senior season at IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) after transferring from Calabasas (Calif.). He played his sophomore year at Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas).
Radley-Hiles was expected to commit on July 31, the birthday of his late brother Branden Webb, who died four years before Bookie was born. He wears No. 44 because his brother wore No. 44.
“I lot of people really don’t know it, but I’ve been committed since my sophomore year last spring,” Radley-Hiles told Rivals.com. “Me and Coach (Mike) Riley kept that to ourselves this whole time. It’s all been a great ride, but this is where I’m supposed to be.
“I’m a firm believer that God makes no mistakes. I wasn’t even supposed to come on the trip the first time we ever visited. I just happened to get lucky and get on the plane and that was actually the time that I first got to Nebraska, met Coach Riley and I committed. It was meant to be.”
In the video, he visits Webb’s gravesite, places a chain with 44 on grave and then makes his announcement.
Given that timeline, the announcement was a surprise. He arrived in Lincoln on Thursday to watch practice, spent the day with players Friday and is expected to attend the spring game Saturday.
Radley-Hiles scored 11 touchdowns (10 receiving) along with his responsibilities on defense for Calabasas (14-1) last season. He already has accepted an invitation to the 2018 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.