FORT WAYNE – The next two Saturdays will go a long way in deciding the tug of war between Purdue and Notre Dame for Carroll’s Drue Tranquill.
The Chargers’ senior linebacker will be at tonight’s game between Purdue (1-1) and No. 21 Notre Dame (1-1) at Ross-Ade Stadium, and he plans to be at the Irish’s home game against Michigan State on Sept. 21.
“These two weekends are going to play the biggest factor coming up here,” Tranquill said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a decision in the next couple of weeks. But I’m not putting a timetable on myself; if the time feels right, the time will feel right.”
Tranquill remains committed to Purdue after announcing his decision July 23. But he is interested in Notre Dame, which offered him a scholarship 10 days after he committed to the Boilermakers.
Tranquill will be focusing less on the outcome and more on how the teams operate.
“It’s going to be a great opportunity to see the two top schools in my recruiting, see how they compete, see the coaching styles of the two coaches, see how they interact with their players and all of that stuff. I will definitely be watching all of the little details,” Tranquill said. “When I go to college, I want to win. That’s just my nature. I’m focused, and I’m hard working.
“It is not necessarily an outcome, win or lose, that will affect my decision either way. It is definitely a good opportunity to see how these two schools are going to compete against one and another and get a chance to see some great football.”
Tranquill’s decision-making process took another turn Monday when he talked to Irish coach Brian Kelly. The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder said after a phone conversation with Kelly he was left with the impression that Notre Dame no longer sees him as just a middle linebacker.
Purdue recruited Tranquill as a defensive athlete, and he could play outside linebacker or safety if he keeps his pledge to the Boilermakers.
Tranquill entered Friday night with nine tackles and two sacks through three games and has run for 409 yards on 24 carries with 10 touchdowns.
“I think in their minds they saw me as a middle linebacker, and I still think they do,” Tranquill said of Notre Dame. “But I think to them the thought of playing middle linebacker might have been scaring me away a little bit. That’s a position I’ve never been recruited at. I’ve never played it. I think they thought that might be a reason why I’m not going there, and so they kind of opened it up to defensive athlete, like, ‘Hey, let’s get this kid on the field as early as we can. We really want him here.’ I think it was more of kind of an assurance thing for me.”
Tranquill wouldn’t predict which team will win tonight, but he said he is excited to experience what game days are like at Purdue.
“Purdue is definitely going to have to step it up only beating Indiana State by six this past weekend,” Tranquill said. “They can do that under (coach Darrell) Hazell. We will just see how it goes.”
Note: Purdue tight end Gabe Holmes, who injured his wrist at practice Tuesday, will not play tonight, according to reports. Holmes leads the Boilermakers with nine receptions for 69 yards.