A college decision is coming soon for Carroll football's Drue Tranquill.
Tranquill, a senior-to-be, cut his college list to Cincinnati, Purdue, Notre Dame and Michigan last week. And the 6-foot-2, 210-pound prospect is high on the Boilermakers.
"I've been down there the most, so I've really got the best feel for them," Tranquill, a safety/linebacker hybrid, said. "They're probably in that top position right now. I love the new staff and coach (Darrell) Hazell. I think they'll be turning it around here soon, and I think there's big things to come for them."
Tranquill likes how approachable the Purdue staff is, and the young staff in West Lafayette has proven its passion for football.
Hazell's staff has stepped up its in-state recruiting in a big way, and that made an impression with both Tranquill and Michael Ledo, who coaches Tranquill and others on the AWP Sports 7-on-7 team.
The 7-on-7 squad finished third in the national tournament to finish its circuit.
"For a long time Purdue, before coach Hazell came in, Purdue was recruiting Florida very strongly," Ledo said. "They just looked at Indiana as kind of like, just not the level of talent. We've got to prove it – that we do have that kind of talent."
And Tranquill does.
The Charger made a commitment to football over baseball this past season. After he stopped splitting time in sports, he and coaches saw Tranquill's abilities skyrocket.
"I was always just a raw athlete," Tranquill said. "You could obviously tell – maybe not if you were a fan so much, but college coaches, definitely other people, could tell I wasn't polished up.
"When I focused on football, I was really able to hone in on my craft and finally polish up my skill."
Of his finalists, the Boilermakers and Cincinnati are the only offers for Tranquill. Michigan might be out of the picture after a commitment from another linebacker, Ohio prospect Noah Furbush, on July 1.
Tranquill said he would talk to the Wolverines staff, which said it might be interested in adding two linebackers in the 2014 class. If Michigan is interested, it will offer, which could shake up the recruiting timeline for Tranquill.
For now, he is eyeing a late July or early August decision. And without an offer from the Fighting Irish or Michigan, the Boilermakers are an easy favorite.
"It's just going to be a feeling I guess I get when I get down there," Tranquill said. "Right now, Purdue's giving me the best vibe, and I've been down there the most. With Notre Dame and Cincinnati, I've only been down there once, so that can change. But definitely, to knock (the Boilermakers) off, it's going to be very tough."
Tranquill will visit West Lafayette on July 22. If Michigan is still interested, he will head to Ann Arbor on July 28. A decision should come shortly afterward.
"It's just going to be a relief to finally be able to call a college home," Tranquill said. "I'm looking forward to it."
JG: What are your priorities for a school – be it Cincinnati, Purdue, Notre Dame, Michigan – what do you have to see in order to commit? What makes them your final four?
Tranquill: I had to identify things that I'm looking for in colleges.
First and foremost, they had to have my degree to get in. I'm looking into biomedical engineering, so they all had to have that. Secondly, I had to mesh with the coaching staff and how I felt on the campus. It's going to be a place I call home for four years. So that was big.
And then finally, I wanted to be able to come in and make an impact early. I think coming into these programs and having a chance to play would be huge for me.