By Eiman Zuberi–
He may currently be one of the nation’s leaders in yards per carry, 8.41, but running back Brandon Radcliff isn’t done yet. The senior made his mark on U of L’s football team, but now he’s ready to take the next step in the NFL.
Growing up in a family of football enthusiasts, Radcliff was exposed to the sport at an early age. His older brother was a wide receiver for West Virginia University.
“It was a family thing,” Radcliff said. “We’re all football players in my family.”
For the last five years, Radcliff has devoted the majority of his life to football and U of L. But Radcliff said he will always represent his hometown of Miami, Florida. Still, Radcliff is proud to be able to call Louisville his home.“It’s a great city,” he said. “You can feel the love. The (Louisville) team has a family atmosphere.”
When asked to describe the feeling of game days, Radcliff said it was a sensation he couldn’t put in words. He recounts running onto the field and being blinded by smoke. After the air clears, he and the rest of the team are exposed to fans cheering.
“It’s a beautiful feeling. You hear the roar of the crowd and see the people who support us. They help us win the games,” Radcliff said. Radcliff enjoys seeing people wearing his jersey number – 23.
He also spoke about the Card March, a tradition when the coaches and players walk through a fan-filled aisle prior to a game. “They shake our hands and thank us for playing for the university,” Radcliff said. “It’s a great way to start the game off.”
He cares about people and wants to see them accomplishing their dreams. That’s why one of his most memorable moments as an athlete was during community service at the YMCA that the football team regularly does.
“A young kid came up to me and said, ‘Man, I want to be like you.’ He wants to go to college and he wants to be a football player,” Radcliff said. “Just hearing that made everything worth it. I want that rather than him looking up to some rapper.”
Radcliff also expressed his excitement for what the future holds. “I would love to continue to chase my dream of becoming a professional athlete,” he said. “East coast, west coast. I’ll play for any team.”
According to the ESPN athlete profile, Radcliff currently has 46 attempts, 427 yards and three touchdowns in the 2016 season. The 2017 NFL Draft is from Apr. 27-29.
Photos by Nancy Hanner / The Louisville Cardinal