Four-star cornerback Bookie Radley-Hiles spoke with Campus Insiders about the Florida Gators and how the SEC compares to the Pac-12.
It was less than two months ago that Bookie Radley-Hiles named the Florida Gators as his No. 1 school.
The No. 9 cornerback and No. 62 overall player in the 2018 class has nothing but great things to say about Jim McElwain’s program, and he even has a friend, 4-star cornerback Elijah Blades, committed to Florida in the 2017 recruiting class.
Radley-Hiles spoke with Campus Insiders about the Gators and the excellent job they’ve done putting defensive backs in the NFL. The 4-star cornerback mentioned Vernon Hargreaves III and Keanu Neal, who both went in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, as examples of the talent Florida produces.
The Calabasas, California native believes in McElwain and defensive backs coach Torrian Gray and their abilities to coach.
“Coach McElwain, he just took over the job, and he did what he did. They came out successful last weekend, and this season they got off to a great start,” Radley-Hiles said. “Coach Gray, he showed what he could do at Virginia Tech. He’s [doing] the same thing at Florida.”
You don’t see many West Coast kids leave Pac-12 country to go to the east coast and live it up in the SEC. Radley-Hiles acknowledged he and Blades have often discussed the possibility of playing together with the Gators.
“We talk about how we could possibly be those California guys that go to the south and sort of take over,” he said. “So, it’s just like nobody’s really did that before. They try to say it’s a stereotype that [talent from] the west really doesn’t go to the south, so why not be those two guys that go do it?”
It’s a much different game in the Southeastern Conference, though. There’s a reason why the SEC has produced eight of the last 10 national champions.
Radley-Hiles is intrigued by that, and he broke down how he sees the Pac-12 in comparison to the SEC.
“The Pac-12 is full of speed. It’s a passing game. As a corner or safety, you get to work your craft,” Radley-Hiles said. “In the south, those are big dudes … Bama running backs, Tennessee running backs, those guys are huge. So, you gotta’ focus on the run game a little bit more than you would in the Pac-12, but at the same time you have to be, as we call ’em today, savages, or what I call a monster. You have to have a certain edge on you. You have to play with a chip on your shoulder at all times.”
It seems as though Florida’s pitch on playing in the SEC has been heard loud and clear.
Note: Scout rankings and ratings used in this article.