FORT WAYNE – Now that Drue Tranquill has chosen where he will play football in college, he will just have to wait until he finds out at what position.
The Carroll senior committed to Purdue on Tuesday during a press conference at the high school’s multi-purpose room after the Chargers’ summer camp. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Tranquill said the Boilermakers told him he will be a defensive athlete, which means he will play either linebacker or safety.
They were recruiting me as an outside linebacker, but I went up there to camp and ran two 4.49s and moved around well, so they don’t know where they want me, Tranquill said. It will depend on how I fill out, I guess.
Also making a college football commitment Tuesday was South Side senior lineman Nathan Braster, who revealed via Twitter that he was headed to Western Michigan. The 6-foot-5, 253-pound Braster, an All-SAC first team offensive lineman, also had offers from Ball State, Eastern Michigan and Toledo. He is expected to play as a defensive end in college.
Tranquill picked the Boilermakers over Indiana and Cincinnati, two of the other schools that made an offer. He also had some interest from Notre Dame and Michigan. He visited Purdue on Monday and Indiana on Tuesday.
He informed Purdue coach Darrell Hazell during his visit Monday and then unveiled his choice before a near-packed room of friends, teammates and family by reaching into his backpack and placing a Purdue hat on his head.
Ever since I went down there for their Junior Day, I felt like I was at home, but I wasn’t confident yet with my decision, said Tranquill, who plans to major in engineering. Being able to go down there (Monday) and sit with Coach Hazell for the first time and get a Q&A with the players really helped solidify my decision.
Players like Drue don’t come around too often, Carroll coach Doug Dinan said. When they do, you have to embrace him and wrap things that you do around that person. He has to touch the ball on offense and has to be moved around on defense so we can utilize his skills.
He is so athletic and so physical that at both levels, second level at linebacker or third level at safety, there is the possibility of him playing. Wherever they play him, I guarantee he is going to make plays and he is going to be a fit for their program.
Tranquill’s stock has risen this summer; he is now rated a four-star linebacker by some recruiting services. ESPN has Tranquill as the eighth-best prospect in the state, while Scout.com has him as the nation’s 27th best outside linebacker. Tranquill had 40 tackles, seven tackles for loss and an interception last season as the Chargers went 10-3 and lost in regional.
It is a very bright decision, because if you go into the season and things are weighing on your shoulders, then that’s your focus, Dinan said of Tranquill announcement. Now this is all behind him, and the focus is playing better, uniting as a team and getting better as a program and looking at the possibility of putting championships on the wall.