UW Roster Review, No. 2-99: Bookie Wore Out his Oklahoma Welcome

The highly regarded defensive back bogged down with the Sooners and comes to the Huskies looking to take the next step.

This guy was one of the most discussed Oklahoma football players in years. He showed up with a catchy nickname. He had a propensity for trash-talk. He enjoyed contact to the point it got him into trouble.

Four decades ago, "the Boz" proved to be a Sooners legend. 

As in Brian Bosworth, whose pro football career ended in Seattle.

More recently, the people of Norman, Oklahoma, embraced a similar yet smaller (no steroids) player christened "Bookie."

Then they turned their backs on him, considering him too out of control, showing displeasure to all the things they had admired about the Boz, as detailed in this Daily Oklahoman story.

My, how times have changed.

The 5-foot-9, 175-pound Radley-Hiles hence brought his game to Seattle this spring, maybe feeling a little humbled. 

Consider his post-spring game tweet: Team. Unit. Me.

By all accounts, he seemed to readily fit in as he took over as the Huskies' No. 1 nickelback, replacing NFL-bound Elijah Molden. 

"That's our quarterback on defense," Husky coach Jimmy Lake said.

Going down the roster in numerical order, this is another of our post-spring assessments of all of the Husky talent at hand, gleaned from a month of observations, as a way to keep everyone engaged during the offseason.

Bookie is No. 4 on defense.

He has been intent on learning the UW secondary system, which, of course, has been known to send a lot of players to the next level.

As the new Husky defensive acronym, BRH resembled an NFL player simply with his thick, bushy beard, which is unmatched on the UW roster.

Tim Meamber, the UW's All-Pac-10 linebacker, Orange Bowl captain and Bosworth opponent, noticed Bookie right away while watching practice, just in his body language, which seemed to suggest superiority in a casual manner.

At Oklahoma, Bookie raised the stakes for himself right away by becoming the Sooners' Budda Baker, a starting safety as a true freshman.

The players loved him.

"One of the realest dudes I know," OU starting quarterback Spencer Rattler told the Daily Oklahoman. "Taught me so much about the game, even while being on the other side of the ball."

The defensive back, randomly nicknamed Bookie by his mother Brenda Radley — "he was just our Bookie-man" — wore No. 44 for the Sooners because it belonged to an older brother who was shot and killed in Inglewood, California, as well as a tattoo and a locket with a photo of the sibling. He switched to No. 4 at the UW because the other number is retired.

Radley-Hiles, however, didn't take it to the next step for the Sooners, even with a change in defensive coordinators to Alex Grinch, formerly of WSU, which brought his defection to Washington in search of guidance.  

He seemed to really turn off the fan base when he got ejected in the second quarter of the 2019 national semifinals game against eventual national champ LSU, an embarrassing 63-28 setback. His misstep was blindsiding Tigers running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire away from the ball.

Radley-Hiles went from intoxicating to polarizing while in the Big 12. He is neither for the Huskies, just another one of their talented DBs on the roster, pushing for playing time.

He's sort of an open Book.

2021 Outlook: Projected nickelback starter

OU Service Time: Played in 37 games, started 32

OU Stats: 115 tackles, 1 sack, 11 pass defends, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 30-yard interception return for a TD

OU Individual Honors: 2019 Big 12 Player of the Week

Pro prospects: NFL Draft 2022, mid-round pick

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