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 seventh installment, as told to beat writer Erin Sorensen.
I woke Monday morning with texts from a few people asking if everyone in Las Vegas is safe. After the reports of a mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip, I received a message from [Ohio State quarterback] Tate Martell, his parents, and another one of my friends at Bishop Gorman. Having lived in Las Vegas and played football for Bishop Gorman, it was very personal.
It was also weird though because I didn’t know how to react at first. I didn’t even know what they were talking about yet. Before I answered, I went on Twitter and typed in “Las Vegas.” It popped up and I saw what was going on, so I immediately called my mom. It was 4 a.m. her time but she answered. She had been asleep, but she said she was OK and so was my brother and his family.
My heart goes out to those who didn’t wake up with similar news because I understand what it feels like to lose someone close to you. I lost my brother, so I understand those feelings when one day someone you love is just gone. I feel for the people that have to endure the pain that I’ve felt. It’s something you never get over. You just learn to live with it.
Speaking of my family, I am very happy that I get to see my mom this weekend. She’s coming back out to IMG to see our game against Venice [Florida]. It’s the first time IMG’s national team will play a local game, and she’ll be here for that. She’ll then join me in Lincoln for my visit this weekend.
It’s a great experience to always have my mom by my side at all times. That’s who I’ve always done life with. I don’t remember a time without her or a time where I couldn’t reach her. It’s just another picture in our world book that we have together.
I’m also looking forward to linking up with my cousin [and Nebraska wide receiver] Tyjon Lindsey again and seeing how he feels. I haven’t really seen him in awhile. That’s like my brother. He was my twin for a lot in high school. I’m excited to talk to him and see how he’s doing without the outside noise and seeing where his head really is and how he likes college so far.
I can’t wait to see him again, because this is something we’ve always talked about since we’re younger. Actually being able to put it into existence and putting it into play? It’s exciting, but it was also already registered in my mind that this day would come. He’s a phenomenal player, and I just pray that he gets his first touchdown or he does really well in front of me.
And if he does score a touchdown in front of me? It would be a dream come true because of what he comes from, what we’ve been through together and what he’s been through personally. Just to see how he has kept his head up, how humble he is and how adversity can literally almost dig someone in a complete hole but to see him come out of it is a blessing.
It would be a dream of mine just to see my brother shine.
Miss a week of Bookie’s senior season diary? Catch up here.
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