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Irish add Indiana native Drue Tranquill to recruiting class

Nov 19, 2013, 7:18 PM EDT

South Bend Tribune South Bend Tribune

Notre Dame received the commitment of Indiana athlete Drue Tranquill, locking in an key defensive recruit for the upcoming signing class. The one-time Purdue commitment stepped away from his pledge to the Boilermakers and decided to spend his next four years in South Bend.

Tranquill’s flip seemed to be a long time coming, with Notre Dame offering the Fort Wayne native just after he committed to new Purdue coach Darrell Hazell. Targeted by the Irish staff as a much needed inside linebacker, Tranquill weighed the pros and cons of making a position switch from safety while considering the two schools.

Tranquill sent out a text to members of the media about the decision making process. Per multiple reports on the internet, here is the message:

“Man this was the hardest decision Ive made in my life, so much respect for both programs! I’ve decided to play my next 4 years at the University of Notre Dame! I have so much respect for Coach Hazell I’ve never met someone with such high character. However, I’m ecstatic to go play for coach Kelly at the university of Notre Dame! Go Irish!”

In addition to Purdue, Tranquill had offers from Cincinnati, Indiana, Minnesota, Penn State and Wisconsin among others. He’s somewhat of an out of profile recruit if the Irish are looking at him playing inside linebacker, where he’ll need to add considerable heft to his 215-pound frame.

But the athleticism and speed are there, with Tranquill mentioning via Twitter that he ran two sub 4.5 forty times as he kicked off his offseason training.

Tranquill talked exclusively with ABC-21 in Fort Wayne about the decision, which you can view here.

Tranquill’s commitment pushes the ’14 recruiting class to 18 members.

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  1. sm29irish - Nov 19, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    He may not be as highly recruited as some other ILB targets but I like what he brings to the table with his speed and athleticism. The lack of speed and athleticism at ILB has been a sore spot for the D this year and has been amplified after the Grace injury. Great pickup, hopefully some other players follow suit and commit soon as well.

    • dickasman - Nov 20, 2013 at 12:50 AM

      This guys 6 2, 200lb and he’s gonna play ILB? Lemme guess too slow for safety? He will never get off da pine trust me.

  2. bernhtp - Nov 19, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    I don’t know if he’ll ever start on defense, but he seems to be the prototype for a great special teams guy. Maybe we’ll be able to cover kick-offs with him on the field.

    • mcirish27 - Nov 19, 2013 at 11:48 PM

      It’s rare that you’re wrong, but I think you might be here. A couple reasons, one being fairly circumstantial – there wont be many ILB’s ahead of him on this roster. Kendall Moore (does he have 5th year available? Not totally sure), Michael Deeb, former walk-on Joe Schmidt and Jarrett Grace returning from a serious injury are about it. Does Anthony Rabasa move inside? Maybe, but if he hasn’t yet in 3 years with us and known logjams outside, he probably won’t. Doug Randolph has a similar size profile to Tranquill so is a candidate but was not recruited as an ILB.

      Secondly, he just might be pretty darn good. Offers from Wisconsin and Penn State, two top 30 defenses the last couple of years are nothing to scoff at. Anyone who was asked to play for teams that typically field tough, blue-collar defenses like them is okay by me.

      Home from CA for the holidays means BYU and my first game since Dublin, and first home game since 2010. Can’t wait, Go Irish!!

      • bernhtp - Nov 20, 2013 at 9:52 AM

        I’m not dismissing his ability. I know nothing other than his recruiting service rankings and his offers. Maybe he’s a Luke Kuechly. If not, he is the perfect prototype for ST.

    • dickasman - Nov 20, 2013 at 12:42 AM

      Great, just what we need another Jon Goodman! You see how much he helped us? I’m sure he can chuck the ball 60yds too. Who gives a rats a$$!

      Cheesus Crimity! We are back to this 3 star BS again. How the mighty have fallen. Only white guy I wanna see are on the OL, TE and QB. What da hell is BK doing? Lemme guess going back to his Grand Valley roots?

      C’mon guys, don’t trip, this ain’t no coup.

      • 1972cutlass - Nov 20, 2013 at 1:25 AM

        You are an idiot.

        “Wah!, wah!, wah!. I only want 4* and 5* players!!! Wah! Wah! Wah.”

        Do you know anything about college football? What team does not recruit 3* players? Alabama? Nope, 6 last year. Florida State? No, they had 11. How about Florida? No, they had 13 of them. Georgia had the number 8 class in the country and they had 17 three star recruits. (There was only one team that didn’t have any 3* players last year – USC – and that was only because they only had 12 recruits.)

        Your whiny complaints make you look dumber than you could possibly be. You are criticizing a player because he’s only a 3*? Other than the very top programs, most teams would love to have a good 3* player. Oh, and you don’t think that a 3* linebacker can be any good? What about Danny Spond, Prince Shembo, Ben Councell, or Romeo Okwara? All 3* who have been pretty good for ND. Nicky Baratti was a 3* middle linebacker recruit, too. Sure would have loved to have had him this year.

        Yeah, I guess you just don’t like white 3* players – you know, guys like Zack Martin, Nick Martin, Tyler Eifert, or Tony Springman. You have no clue. Go stick your first name in your middle name, crawl under your KKK sheet, and shut up.

      • onward2victory - Nov 20, 2013 at 2:12 AM

        Dude Jon Goodman had 2 of the best TD catches in recent memory last season. 1 handed catch against mich st and a crazy grab with a defender all over him against wake.

      • raymund15 - Nov 20, 2013 at 2:45 AM

        That’s BS. I don’t wanna make this a color thing, I’m in favor of good players regardless of color, but there are a lot of good white LBs, just watch the next two games and you will see some of them. Sadly enough they will be playing for our opponents and not for ND.

    • dickasman - Nov 20, 2013 at 12:54 AM

      I swear we are the only university specifically recruiting special teams players while the other teams just uses the leftovers there.

      Pathetic if you ask me. Nothing against the kid but I had higher hopes.

      • mcirish27 - Nov 20, 2013 at 2:26 AM

        “Nothing against the kid,” he says. You’re the worst, dick.

  3. papadec - Nov 19, 2013 at 8:37 PM

    Keith – I think Drue Tranquill is verbal commit #19.

    • dudeacow - Nov 19, 2013 at 8:44 PM

      McKenzie’s committment isn’t official due to academic issues that need to be cleared up. Many recruiting services aren’t counting his verbal.

      • papadec - Nov 19, 2013 at 11:28 PM

        Hell – no verbal commit is official until signing day results in a FAX, & God knows, based on past history, not even then.

    • dickasman - Nov 20, 2013 at 12:45 AM

      I hope he transfers to Purdue like vanderdoes did. I won’t be shedding no tears. We can do better. We need to be competing w Stanford not Purdue!

      • 1972cutlass - Nov 20, 2013 at 1:33 AM

        You want to compete with teams like Stanford? You mean the Stanford team that recruited 49 two and three star players over the last four years (that’s an average of over 12 two and three stars since I know you are not smart enough to do that high level math called division).

      • irish13pa - Nov 20, 2013 at 2:10 PM

        I think i agree with Dickasman on this. This kid will be a special teamer period. Nyles Morgan is the ILB BK needs to get. He looks like someone who can play right now.

        Also 1972cutlass…. Stanford obviously knows how to develope those 2 and 3 star recruits… something this coaching staff has yet to show it can do……

  4. padomer - Nov 19, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    from the video, in how he’s used at many different positions and excels at them, i think he fits the profile of an Austin Collinsworth or Cam McDaniel: Football Player. Idk which position he’ll man or how good he’ll be, but looks to have enough football instincts to at leasttttt be a multi-year special teams contributor.

    • dickasman - Nov 20, 2013 at 12:46 AM

      I see Jon Goodman

    • dickasman - Nov 20, 2013 at 12:57 AM

      Just what we needed to waste our scholarship on. Multi year special teams players. You usually play the 4 or 5 star recruit that couldn’t crack the starting team. You don’t waste a scholarship like that!

      • 1972cutlass - Nov 20, 2013 at 1:38 AM

        To whom are you referring when you say “you” in your post? What team only plays “4 or 5 star recruit[s] that couldn’t crack the starting team” on special teams? Are you sure you are on the right board? This is a college football board. You know, where we talk about real teams that recruit real players, not some imaginary video game like you must be talking about.

  5. onward2victory - Nov 20, 2013 at 2:16 AM

    I wonder if ND is changing their defensive recruiting philosophy a little bit. Trying to get more speed rather than “Big Skill” in order to keep up with the move toward mobile QBs, tempo, and spread.

  6. rube325 - Nov 20, 2013 at 7:30 AM

    dickasman….your getting hammered with facts from 72Cutlass….better quit dickasman you came to a battle of the brains ill-equpped to do battle.

    • bigmix86 - Nov 20, 2013 at 11:09 AM

      Maybe it’s time to trade that Ritalin in for some Valium Dick?

  7. mediocrebob - Nov 20, 2013 at 8:10 AM

    You’re lost Dick.

  8. domerboyirish - Nov 20, 2013 at 8:39 AM

    Yawn. Yeah we need a few of these guys but I’m not excited about it. He is a potential project. You can’t teach speed so it’s just a matter of what we use him for.

    When you go undefeated you get a higher percentage of 4 and 5 start players. When you lose to Pitt, and you look like a coaching fool, better start bringing in projects.

  9. mtndguy - Nov 20, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    Great, dickasman is back. The silence was nice. Oh well………

  10. 4horsemenrideagain - Nov 20, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    speed kills.

    i’m also wondering whether he’s 6′ 2″ only because the way these guys inflate their specs is pretty absurd. i think max redfield was listed as 6’3″ in high school and somehow shrunk 2 inches to be listed at 6’1″ at ND.

  11. regionirish - Nov 20, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    Reasons Drue has potential:

    1) We need speed at inside LB. Pass coverage across the middle has been brutal this year.

    2) Need to be able to spy today’s mobile QBs with the inside backers.

    3) Most teams run some form of option(traditional or spread) and quick smaller inside LBs can better avoid cut blocks and scrape over the top.

    I think this is one of Kelly’s best strategic recruiting moves yet, and I think all of the doubters will be proved wrong 2-3 years from now.

  12. jem5b - Nov 20, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    Gee DAM this is the 21st century son, not the beginning of the 20th c.

  13. mediocrebob - Nov 20, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    Although it can be hard to tell from video, Sub 4.5 seems a stretch. Either way, looks like a good athlete. You can say what you want about Kelly and co., but they develop players and get the most out of them. And they have a plan. (Cue the smartass comments from Nude/dick)

  14. padomer - Nov 21, 2013 at 12:43 AM

    Idk man, i think im leanin towards dick’s viewpoint. I’m a bit disappointed too that we haven’t landed any elite talent in these past few months. With schollie numbers dwindling, I’m not going to go as far to say this is a waste of a scholarship, but I was kinda hoping these final commitments were of the blue-chip variety. And while these top 100 rankings and 4star/5star designations aren’t always correct, they seem to be more reliable than not. Of course there are outliers in every draft – keuchly i don’t think was a hot commodity, that kiki alonso from oregon, now killin it with the Bills, I think flew under the radar, dude from TAMU the receiver was like a 2star recruit and I’m sure the list goes on. That said, and I don’t have many facts backing this up, I’d be willing to wager that over 60% of the top 100 are multi-year contributors at the least, and I’d bet that 40% make the pros. A way in which the top 100 rankings may be flawed is that they simply cannot account for heart amongst those guys, just the off the charts talent.

    The past few cycles I was willing to throw out the recruiting rankings because of the way in which Kansas St., Wisconsin, Oregon to a large degree and many others regularly put out a competitive product annually without what many would consider great classes. But I’ve since backed off that opinion because I’ve had such high expectations for the player development aspect and have consistently been burned. For example I thought they’d turn Ben Councell into an All-American, Jarrett Grace, Anthony Rabasa and dudes like that. Fact is, is that it just hasn’t happened.

  15. padomer - Nov 21, 2013 at 12:57 AM

    So how do the other teams do it? I don’t think it’s necessarily true that these other programs are thatttt much better at developing talent than BK & CO…I think it just simply comes down to luck. Truly, I don’t think that these teams are masters of developing 3star/2star overlooked guys, I just think that the 1-4 of them that do pan out turn out to be transcendent stars. Russell Wilson, Collin Klein, the Oregon quarterbacks, the Stanford LB’s and OL (in the Harbaugh era, cuz now they are gettin legit blue-chippers I believe), The TAMU WR, Johnny Manzel, RGIII, the Oregon CB (and DE that went 3 overall in the draft), that BYU DE who went early in the draft last year, Keuchly…it’s mostly luck that these guys panned out the way they did, and happened to play positions that can directly effect a team’s performance. In fact, I think even Andrew Luck wasn’t the most sought after Qb coming out of high school. ND, to my recollection, has never found a diamond in the rough in the BCS era outside of the shark i believe, and I think Eifert. And as great as they were, a tight end and a WR simply cannot carry a team to elite status. It’s been far too frequent when the team and fans are banking on one of these guys to step up and take command of a position and it’s just rarely happened.

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