The last few months have been a bit of a blur for Ft. Wayne (IN) Carroll LB Drue Tranquill. In that short span of time he has risen from relative obscurity to become a prospect with eight offers and numerous other programs are scrambling to find out more about him. The inquiries reached a fever pitch at last week’s Sound Mind Sound Body Academy after the 6-2, 208-pounder flashed his 4.49 forty speed while covering receivers from his safety position.
“It was awesome,” Tranquill said regarding the camp. “It’s great to get out and compete. There were a ton of dogs out there. It’s good to get out there and compete with guys.”
That the competition took place in front of the judging eyes of coaches may have been a bit intimidating for some of the youngsters in attendance, but that definitely wasn’t case for Tranquill.
“It’s exciting,” the Hoosier State prospect said. “It spurs you on and makes you that much more excited. It makes you want to compete more. Scholarships are on the line. The lights are on. They put all these college coaches out there and it was a great opportunity for us. We were blessed to have it, so it’s up to us to compete.”
That attitude has served Tranquill well on the camp circuit. He had a lot of ground to make up based on his prior emphasis on baseball over football. He has managed to do just that thanks in part to his willingness to do anything he has been asked to do on the football field. Whether it be playing multiple positions or matching up with top offensive players, he has been up to the task. He displayed the same versatility during his high school season.
“It went great,” said Tranquill looking back on his junior campaign. “Our coach has never been like a two-way guy, but they let me play two ways. I kind of played everywhere; I punted, kick returned, I blocked, played quarterback, receiver… everything. It’s kind of tiring, but when you’re blessed to be the man at your school and put on that stage, it’s awesome.”
College coaches are clearly intrigued by Tranquill’s versatility, but they have no illusions of using him on offense.
“I have a lot of schools looking at me as like a hybrid outside linebacker/safety, like a field linebacker that can cover in space, and some want me as a free safety. It just depends.”
Michigan is among the programs now showing interest in Tranquill as a linebacker. After initially inviting him to campus for next month’s barbecue at the Big House, the Wolverines asked him if he could get there a bit sooner. Now he plans to make his way to town to participate in camp Wednesday.
“I talked to Brady Hoke and all those guys,” Tranquill stated. “They love me. They love me, so basically it’s just more of getting on campus right now and them touring me. I feel an offer could be coming, which is huge. I’m excited about it.”
Whether a scholarship is really on the horizon remains to be seen. What is clear is that Tranquill has an opportunity to get closer to an offer if he performs well. That, however, will be but one of his goals during his time on campus. He also hopes to learn more about the university as a whole. As a matter of fact he has already begun that process.
“I’ve done my research on a lot of schools,” he said. “I know (Michigan has) the #7 engineering program in the nation, so I’ve done my research on that end. And I know they’re a top quality program. Plus the Big House is rockin’. So they are definitely are up there and it would be great opportunity. So it’s going to be (a matter of) getting down to the campus and getting a feel for it.”
“Obviously, I am going to look at their engineering department and see what that’s like. The biggest thing on my list is how I interact with the coaches and how their player (are) and the feel for the campus. I mean, I am spending four years there of my life. That’s a big, big thing for me. So feeling like I am at home is huge.”
After leaving Michigan Tranquill doesn’t plan to take too much longer searching for that feeling.
“I don’t really have a top (list of schools) right now,” he said. “I’m looking to narrow it down here. I’m seeing where all the offers lay out, then the beginning of July I’m probably going to cut it to about three or four schools, make my final visits in July, and look to commit probably beginning of August time frame. I want to make it before the season starts.”