Rover Drue Tranquill announces plan to return for fifth season at Notre Dame

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Drue Tranquill said he wanted to wait for an opportunity to share his decision with the entire Notre Dame football.

So when he took the stage for the Echoes, the annual awards show for the Irish football team, as the recipient of the Rockne Student-Athlete of the Year, Tranquill shared the news.

"I'm going to be coming back home for my fifth year," Tranquill told the crowd gathered in the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.

Tranquill, who served as a team captain, finished the season third on the team with 74 tackles, 8.5 for loss, three pass breakups, three fumble recoveries, 1.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one interception.

Tranquill wasn't expected to be an early pick in the NFL Draft, but a decision to pursue a pro career seemed to be a distinct possibility. Tranquill had his freshman and sophomore seasons cut short with ACL injuries. His sophomore season ended after three games, which will allow him to be eligible for a fifth season.

Those injuries, and a wedding scheduled in July, could have coaxed Tranquill to move forward. Instead, he'll return as a reliable force at the rover position.

Tranquill has totaled 195 tackles, 14 tackles for a loss, seven passes defended, four fumble recoveries, three interceptions, two sacks and one forced fumble in his four seasons with the Irish.

Tranquill, a mechanical engineering major with 3.74 GPA, won the Rockne Student-Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive year.

Notre Dame’s Drue Tranquill (23) smiles and pumps his fist to fans as he exits the field following Notre Dame's 24-17 win over Navy in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend. Tribune Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN