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Carroll LB nears decision


– Drue Tranquill has plenty to think about after taking a pair of unofficial college visits the last two weekends.

The Carroll linebacker was at No. 22 Notre Dame’s 31-24 victory at Purdue on Sept. 14 and the Irish’s 17-14 home win over Michigan State on Saturday.

The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder said Sunday he remains committed to Purdue, a pledge he made July 23. But he does hold a scholarship offer from Notre Dame as well, which came 10 days after he made his commitment to the Boilermakers.

“Pieces are starting to come together and things are starting to fall into place a little bit,” Tranquill said. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see (a decision) come out in the upcoming weeks. … I’m not putting a timetable on it. It is kind of peace of mind thing, but I’m definitely starting to get things sorted out.”

Tranquill said he was able to meet with other players who have committed to Purdue and enjoyed the experience of being at Ross-Ade Stadium for the night game against Notre Dame.

What stuck out to him most was how much the fans care about the Boilermakers.

“There was a packed house and electric atmosphere,” said Tranquill, who could play outside linebacker or safety for the Boilers. “That was a great, reassuring factor in the process. The fans obviously still care. They see the upside of what coach (Darrell) Hazell and his staff can bring to the Purdue program.”

Tranquill said he met with Notre Dame safeties coach Bob Elliott before the Irish’s game against the Spartans.

Tranquill’s visit with Elliott was another sign that the Irish are flexible for where he could play for their defense. Notre Dame originally recruit Tranquill with the idea of turning him into a middle linebacker, but before the Purdue game, coach Brian Kelly told the Carroll senior that the staff would evaluate where he could best help the team whether that was at outside or inside linebacker or safety.

“They’re overall message (Saturday) was reassuring the fact that I was going to come in to play wherever I could best help the team early,” Tranquill said. “They are going to give the opportunity to play the position I want to play. Now if it turns out that that is not the position I should play, they are going to put me in the position where I can best help the team early.”

Tranquill said he was impressed by Elliot and also by how many Notre Dame freshmen were given the chance to play against Michigan State.

“You saw two big freshmen out there, (receiver) Corey Robinson and (former Bishop Luers star and linebacker) Jaylon Smith both making plays on opposite sides of the ball,” said Tranquill, who is friends with and trained with Smith at AWP Sports. “The biggest thing at Notre Dame is they are under such national scrutiny that if you are not getting the job done, they are looking for the next guy to come in. So the opportunity for freshmen to come in and have an opportunity to play early was just huge.”