Ward feels he, Tranquill keep with Purdue

Denzel Ward feels he and Drue Tranquill will stay put with Purdue. Boiler Sports Report caught up with the Purdue commit about his official visits and more.

The two biggest question marks for Purdue's recruiting efforts involve current commits, Denzel Ward and Drue Tranquill, who are exploring other options.

Ward may just have the answer the Boilermakers are hoping for.

"I'm pretty sure I'll end up at Purdue," Ward said. "I think Drue [Tranquill] will, too."

The Boilermakers' two highly-touted commits are making sure their Purdue pledge is the best fit. Ward has official visits set for Purdue (this Saturday) and UCLA (October 5th), and is planning trips to Florida and possibly Oklahoma.

Ward first committed to Michigan last October, but didn't take his time with the recruiting process and later decommitted. He pledged to Purdue in June and remains committed to the program. He hopes these new visits help bolster his Boilermaker commitment.

"I'm just doing due diligence to the recruiting process, doing the right thing and making sure Purdue is the right place for me," Ward said. "I don't want to have any regrets."

As for Tranquill, an offer from Notre Dame—coming not long after his Purdue commitment—forced him to consider the Fighting Irish as an option. Tranquill, too, will be in West Lafayette on Saturday for an official visit.

Ward has been keeping close contact with Tranquill as the two evaluate their options. Given that both are in the same boat, the two have been able to advise each other.

"A lot of the other guys don't have the offers that Drue and I have been getting, so I've been talking to him a lot," Ward said. "He's still sold on Purdue.

"He feels that Notre Dame, they came around in the back end [of his recruitment. Purdue believed in him. Plus, the engineering program at Purdue, it's one of the best in the country."

Ward has been a leader for Purdue's 2014 class, building camaraderie and excitement around the program and its new coach, Darrell Hazell. He hopes to continue building the class, and feels Tranquill will also be a part of that.

As a Boilermaker freshman, Ward would likely see early playing time at tackle—a key draw to the program. But Purdue's academics are also a major factor in his commitment.

Purdue has made Ward a priority and he hasn't forgotten that.

"They've invested a lot in me," he said. "… They've been making my family feel comfortable about the value of the degree there. There's a lot going on that's positive."

If Ward and Tranquill stay put with Purdue, those positive vibes will continue on.

Chris Emma has covered recruiting, college athletics and professional baseball for FOX Sports Next since 2009. Emma covered the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Northwestern Wildcats, and currently covers the Purdue Boilermakers. A Chicago native, he resides in West Lafayette.
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