Editor’s note: Brendan “Bookie” Radley-Hiles, a top-ranked 2018 cornerback recruit who plays at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., is contributing a weekly first-person story to DieHards. Here is the 15th installment, as told to beat writer Erin Sorensen.
This last weekend was my official visit to UCLA, and it was a good visit. I had a chance to see a lot of people, which included a lot of my family. You can only call one place “home,” so it was great to be back home.
And while I was on my visit, I did get to meet UCLA’s new head coach, Chip Kelly. That was pretty cool, especially because he knew my name already when I met him.
I wasn’t sure what was going to happen while I was on my visit though, as everything really happened while I was there. We would hear new things, so I’d ask the coaching staff right then and there what was going on. They would tell me they thought Coach Kelly would be around, but maybe not. I was hoping to talk to him, so I’m glad it worked out.
It worked out kind of randomly, too. I had been told to be downstairs at the hotel for breakfast at a certain time, and my friend and IMG teammate TJ Pledger was also supposed to be down there with me. My mom called up and said everyone was downstairs waiting for me, so I headed that way but TJ wasn’t downstairs. Of course, we were then waiting on TJ to start eating so we could get to the airport.
Since we were running out of time, I headed toward the elevator to get TJ and, of course, I bumped into Chip Kelly and his wife walking around the corner. I was like, “Oh, shoot. That’s them.” I didn’t want to act like he should know me, so I was trying to keep going, but he stopped and said, “Bookie, Brendan.”
He asked about my visit and how my senior season was at IMG. He also told me that IMG’s offensive coordinator used to be his quarterback at Oregon, so that was cool.
— UCLA Recruiting (@UCLA_Recruiting) November 26, 2017
I also have to say how cool it was for Coach Kelly to know who I was. He had just taken this role on, and hadn’t even met with interim coach Jedd Fisch or any of the UCLA coaches yet. I called my brother who had played against him when he was at Utah, and asked what kind of guy Chip Kelly is. My brother told me he is a football fanatic, so he knows everything about football and recruiting. He even said Coach Kelly may have really known who I was before, and it wasn’t just a show. Regardless, that meant a lot to me.
And obviously, I did hear the news from Nebraska over this weekend. For me personally, Mike Riley being gone from the Huskers is some kind of heartbreak. I still have feelings toward the state of Nebraska, the program, the former coaching staff and the players on the team, so it’s tough. A lot of people expected it to happen, but to see it finally actually take place, I can only really describe it as a heartbreak.
But for me, I’m moving forward with what’s next. Even I don’t know where I’ll be just yet when this is all said and done. For now, I’m just trying to decide where to take my final official visit.
The rest will fall into place soon enough.
Miss a week of Bookie’s senior season diary? Catch up here.
The post 4-star Brendan Radley-Hiles diary: Bookie recaps trip to UCLA, meeting with Chip Kelly appeared first on Diehards.