Rader, 16, was transported to Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville for treatment of multiple broken bones. Friends reported he was awake and recovering from surgery Wednesday.
A prayer vigil, which was attended by family, teammates, Boone students and supporters in the community, was held Tuesday night at Pride Park next to Nathan Hale Stadium.
Daniel Boone athletic director Danny Good talked about Rader’s good nature and how he is well liked among his peers.
“He always has a smile on his face. He’s kind of a low-key guy, but very friendly,” Good said. “He’s just that All-American kind of kid, a good looking boy with a great personality.”
As a sophomore during the 2019 season, Rader played running back and outside linebacker for the Trailblazers. He scored touchdowns in games against Greeneville and Cherokee. He was prominently featured in a late drive in the Trailblazers’ 45-20 win over Cherokee.
Wearing jersey No. 23, Rader carried the ball eight times and capped off the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run.
“He’s that Boone old-style back that’s going to get you 4-5 yards,” Good said. “He runs shoulders parallel and is one of those players who shows up for work every day.”
With Rader and his family going through a tough time, Good wasn’t surprised to see a great turnout to support him. It is a part of the “Boone Strong” message of helping each other through trying times.
“We’re going to do whatever we can do to get whatever they need,” Good said. “Our community has been through some tough times in recent years, but we will step up and do everything we can to support Nate and his family.”