Notre Dame football recruiting: Tranquill gets closer look at Notre Dame

South Bend Tribune

As Drue Tranquill continues to wade through a complicated recruitment, he visited Notre Dame on Saturday with a clear objective: get to know his potential teammates.

The senior linebacker/safety prospect from Fort Wayne, Ind., made his second trip to Notre Dame for a football game this fall and left with a lot of questions answered.

“I was able to connect with a lot of guys there and develop relationships,” Tranquill said. “That was my main focus and goal going in — to meet the commits, develop relationships with players on the team and see what my future family might look like.”

The three-star recruit already holds a verbal pledge to Purdue, but has been weighing it against the Irish since an offer came in August. In the crowd on Saturday, Tranquill found someone he could relate to in Iowa State wide receiver commit Allen Lazard. Tranquill has similar feelings about the Boilermakers that Lazard has about the Cyclones, but the opportunities Notre Dame presents are equally tantalizing.

“He’s in a similar situation I am,” Tranquill said. “He can be a hometown hero at Iowa State where his dad went. He feels comfortable with their coaching staff. Obviously, Notre Dame's a great opportunity so he was down there checking it out as well.”

Quarterback commitment DeShone Kizer spent time talking with Tranquill and left a strong impression.

“He's a really cool kid,” Tranquill said. “I was able to talk academics and athletics with him. He seems like a guy you'd want to play for and play with.”

Tranquill also made his way into the Irish locker room after the game and spoke with running back Cam McDaniel about their Christian backgrounds and his path to Notre Dame.

In the middle of all those conversations Tranquill was treated to a 14-10 Irish victory over USC with an impressive performance from the Notre Dame defense. The final two stops of the game unfolded right in front of the section of the stadium designated for recruits.

"Obviously you're paying attention to the position you're going to be playing potentially, but I was just thoroughly impressed with the Notre Dame defense, how they stepped up in the second half with Tommy Rees out,” Tranquill said. “It seemed like if USC would have punched one in the house there, they might have been in trouble because they weren't moving the ball offensively.”

Watching freshman linebacker Jaylon Smith, who works with the same training group, AWP Sports, in Fort Wayne as Tranquill, catch his first interception was an added bonus.

Next for the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Tranquill is the start of the IHSAA postseason for Carroll High and one more visit to Purdue. On Friday, his team will play on the road against Fort Wayne rival Homestead in a Class 6-A sectional semifinal.

Just three weeks ago Tranquill led the Chargers to a 51-34 victory over Homestead, the first win for Carroll against its rival since 2003. Tranquill rushed for 245 yards and five touchdowns in the game.

On Saturday, Tranquill will make his second game visit to Purdue this season. He saw the Boilermakers challenge the Irish in West Lafayette in September and will return to see them host unbeaten Ohio State this weekend. An impending decision is looming, and Tranquill knows it’s coming soon.

“I'm not putting a timetable on it, but after this visit things are going to start to narrow down,” Tranquill said. “I wouldn't be surprised to see something come out here in the next couple weeks right after the Purdue visit.”

Mack picks A&M

Notre Dame made a push for 2015 defensive tackle Daylon Mack earlier this month with the Shamrock Series game in Arlington, Texas. An Irish offer and a visit to the game made Mack put Notre Dame in his top four and consider a visit to South Bend.

That momentum was ended on Monday when Mack verbally committed to Texas A&M. Long considered a lean to the Aggies, Mack had previously told the Tribune that he may delay a decision until after he could make a visit to Notre Dame in the offseason. Apparently the A&M pull became too strong to hold off a commitment.

The 6-foot-2, 310-pound junior at Gladewater (Texas) High ranks as a five-star recruit, the No. 6 defensive tackle and the No. 25 prospect in the 2015 class according to 247Sports.