Notre Dame picked up its first commitment in a few weeks on Tuesday when former Purdue commitment Drue Tranquill decommitted from the Boilermakers and joined Notre Dame’s 2014 recruiting class – aka the #GoldenArmy14.
Initially recruited by Notre Dame as an inside linebacker, the Irish changed their approach with the Indiana native in the middle of the recruiting process and instead recruited him as a defensive athlete leaving the door open for multiple positions depending on how Tranquill develops over the next few years.
Based on their initial evaluation, it seems clear that the coaching staff feels confident that Tranquill will fill out his 6’2″ frame enough to play inside linebacker. In order to do so, Tranquill will need to add on about 30 pounds or so to hit the 240 range. If it turns out his frame won’t support that much additional weight while maintaining his athleticism, safety would be his most likely destination as that was what Purdue and some other programs recruited the 3-star prospect as.
Given Notre Dame’s absolute need for inside linebackers though, the hope of the staff will be that Paul Longo is able to take Tranquill into the weight room and bulk him up over the next few years to mold him into an athletic inside linebacker for the middle of the Irish defense. Brian Kelly and his staff have been recruiting Tranquill for a while and have a track record of being able to project development for players like Tranquill in the past.
Tranquill was a versatile weapon for Carroll High School this past season playing on both sides of the ball. On defense, Tranquill collected 75 tackles with 16 going for a loss and an additional four sacks while picking off one pass. On the offensive side of the ball, he picked with 1,420 yards on the ground as a running back while scoring an impressive 28 touchdowns and adding 16 catches for 348 yards with another five touchdowns through the air. (Highlights from his junior year below)
Tranquill originally committed to Purdue months ago and wrestled with the decision of where he would spend the next four years of his life. He spoke with NBC33 of Fort Wayne at length about his decision earlier today prior to making his commitment to Notre Dame stating that it was the hardest decision he has ever had to make while professing his respect for both programs. In the end though, Tranquill decided that Notre Dame was the place he wanted to continue his career on the field and in the classroom.
In addition to being recruited by Notre Dame and Purdue,. Tranquill also picked up offers from Penn State and Wisconsin as well as some other midwest programs like Minnesota, Indiana, and Cincinnati.
Notre Dame now has 18 verbal commitments – two of which are targeted for the inside linebacker spots with Tranquill joining Notre Dame’s first commitment of the year Greer Martini. Notre Dame is expected to continue to pursue inside linebacker prospects Nyles Morgan and Nile Sykes both of whom are Illinois natives.