Notre Dame football recruiters eye another Tranquill

South Bend Tribune

Justin Tranquill waited his turn to enjoy the recruiting process for himself. Now, midway through his junior year, the Fort Wayne product hopes to take advantage of it.

Earlier this month, Tranquill watched as his older brother, Drue, ended his recruitment by signing to play football at Notre Dame. It formally finished Drue’s process but also officially marked the start of Justin’s.

“I learned a lot from Drue,” Justin said. “I got to tag along with him through a lot of it. Seeing everything that he went through in such a short amount of time, it opened my eyes to a lot of the stuff that goes on in recruiting. I've been able to get a feel for things already so I have a little bit of a head start on it.”

Justin will continue his recruiting process on Saturday with a visit to Notre Dame, this time leaving Drue at home. The Irish have not offered Justin a scholarship, but have expressed interest through assistant coach Mike Elston.

“I was able to go up there for a couple games last fall with Drue obviously because they were recruiting him,” Justin said. “Getting up there to see everything I really realized it was an awesome school rich in football tradition, a beautiful campus, great academically and with a great set of coaches too. It's definitely a school that I'd be interested in. It meets a lot of the criteria that I've set for the school that I'll end up choosing.”

Justin will be one of a handful of prospects, most who don’t hold offers, visiting for Saturday’s junior day. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound athlete will learn more about a potential future with Notre Dame on the visit. Most information he’s received has come through Elston or relayed tidbits from his brother.

“I'm looking forward to forming that relationship with the coaches,” Tranquill said. “Whenever I went last time that was more for Drue really. I was there but I wasn't really forming that relationship. That's one of the more important aspects to me.”

Much like his older brother, Justin’s college projection isn’t necessarily clear in terms of position. Justin plays running back, wide receiver and cornerback at Carroll High and has been recruited by a number of schools to play a number of positions. Drue will likely end up as a safety or linebacker at Notre Dame.

Justin Tranquill has received offers from seven schools — Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, Cincinnati, Toledo, Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan — with most coming following a junior season that ended with a loss in the Class 6-A regional to state runner-up Carmel. Justin barely beat out his older brother in total offensive yards, though Drue did more scoring (33 touchdowns).

Justin rushed for 1,475 yards on 178 carries and 18 touchdowns and caught 26 passes for 312 yards and one touchdown. He also tallied 17 tackles, 11 pass deflections and three interceptions on defense. Tranquill said he doesn’t necessarily have a preference on what position he plays in college.

"Originally, when I was younger it was always about offense and getting the ball in my hands because I felt like I was in control,” Tranquill said. “Over the past couple of years with all the DB training I've been doing, defense has really grown on me too."

A three-star prospect, Tranquill ranks as the No. 27 safety in the 2015 class and the No. 8 recruit in Indiana according to 247Sports. Rivals ranks him as the No. 46 athlete and No. 10 in the state.

While Justin works to create his own path to college, this weekend he’ll get a better view of the choice his older brother made. No matter where he ends up, he wants it to be on his own merit.

"I don't ever want to visit a school or have a coach be interested in me just because of my brother,” Justin said. “I want them to be interested in me because of how they feel about my skills and what they see in me. I want to be able to showcase my own talents and skills.”

Watch highlights of Justin Tranquill's junior season here.

More 2015 offers

The Irish coaching staff continues to identify more recruiting targets for the 2015 class, notably within the states of California and Texas. Here’s a look at some of the reported offers in the past week:

WR Malik Lovette, 5-11, 180; Redlands (Calif.) East Valley: A four-star prospect, Lovette holds offers from Arizona State, Texas A&M, UCLA and Washington, among others. 247Sports slates him as the No. 6 wide receiver and No. 178 overall. Rivals ranks him as the No. 17 wide receiver and No. 149 overall.

WR Equanimeous St. Brown, 6-5, 195; Anaheim (Calif) Servite: A four-star prospect, St. Brown holds offers from Stanford, USC, Tennessee and Vanderbilt, among others. 247Sports slates him as the No. 12 wide receiver and No. 136 overall. Rivals ranks him as the No. 18 wide receiver and No. 154 overall. St. Brown attends the same high school as former ND tight end Troy Niklas.

RB Dexter Williams, 6-0, 190; Winter Garden (Fla.) West Orange: An unranked prospect on Rivals and 247Sports, Williams has emerged on the recruiting trail in the last few weeks. He received his first offer from Miami earlier this month and has added Florida, Georgia, Ohio State, South Carolina and Tennessee to his list since. He rushed for 1,072 yards as a junior at Orlando’s Olympia High.

ATH Isaiah Langley, 5-11, 170; Pleasanton (Calif.) Foothill: A four-star prospect, Langley holds offers from Oklahoma, Oregon, UCLA and USC, among others. Rivals ranks him as the No. 13 cornerback and No. 129 overall. 247Sports slates him as the No. 38 corner-back.

LB Leo Lewis, 6-3, 225; Brookhaven (Miss.) High: A four-star prospect, Lewis holds offers from Alabama, Florida, LSU and Ole Miss, among others. Rivals ranks him as the No. 2 inside linebacker and No. 61 overall. 247Sports also slates him as the No. 2 inside line-backer and No. 60 overall.

CB Jordan Whitehead, 6-0, 175; Monaca (Pa.) Central Valley: A four-star prospect, Whitehead holds offers from Ohio State, Penn State, Pittsburgh and West Virginia, among others. 247Sports slates him as the No. 21 cornerback and No. 222 overall. Rivals ranks him as the No. 23 cornerback and also No. 222 overall.

CB Shaun Crawford, 5-9, 175; Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward: A four-star prospect, Crawford holds a verbal commitment to Michigan. Rivals ranks him as the No. 11 cornerback and No. 106 overall. 247Sports slates him as the No. 13 cornerback and No. 141 overall.

ATH Xavier Lewis, 5-11, 175; Reserve (La.) East St. John: A four-star prospect, Lewis holds offers Clemson, Texas A&M, Florida and UCLA, among others. 247Sports slates the former LSU commit as the No. 12 cornerback and No. 130 overall. Rivals ranks Lewis as the No. 22 cornerback and No. 216 overall.

ATH Louis Brown, 6-6, 207; Burton (Texas) High: Brown, who’s played running back, wide receiver, defensive end and linebacker, holds offers from Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon and Texas Tech, among others. 247Sports slates him as a four-star prospect, the No. 17 athlete and No. 135 overall. Rivals ranks him as a three-star prospect and the No. 47 athlete. Brown projects as a defensive player.

ATH Kirk Merritt, 5-11, 200; Destrehan (La.) High: A three-star prospect, Merritt holds offers from TCU, Florida, Tennessee and Texas A&M, among others. 247Sports slates him as the No. 18 all-purpose back and the No. 28 prospect in Louisiana. Rivals ranks him as the No. 40 wide receiver.

WR John Humphrey, 5-11, 160; League City (Texas) Clear Falls: A three-star speedster, Humphrey holds offers from Baylor, Oklahoma, Ole Miss and Texas Tech, among others. 247Sports slates him as the No. 42 athlete and No. 49 in Texas. Rivals ranks him as the No. 73 wide receiver. Humphrey reportedly has speed in the 4.3 range.

WR Jalen Guyton, 6-1, 185; Allen (Texas) High: A three-star prospect, Guyton holds offers from Ohio State, Oklahoma, Stanford and Texas A&M, among others. Rivals ranks him as the No. 43 wide receiver. 247Sports slates him as the No. 76 wide receiver and the No 79 prospect in Texas. Guyton caught 42 passes for 1,028 yards and 13 touchdowns as a junior for the Texas state champs.

Tyler James: 574-235-6214

Twitter: @TJamesNDI

Justin Tranquill, the brother of Notre Dame signee Drue Tranquill, will be visiting the Irish this weekend. (Photo provided/Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, Michelle Davies)