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November 19, 2013
Tranquill makes the flip
Drue Tranquill did enough investigating over the last three months to arrive at a conclusion.
Purdue scored a commitment from the in-state defensive athlete toward the end of July, at which point things almost immediately became more complicated. Notre Dame stepped in with a scholarship offer not even two weeks later.
Now after multiple unofficial visits to both programs since then Tranquill has brought things to a conclusion: He de-committed from the Boilermakers and gave Notre Dame a commitment.
"Man this was the hardest decision I've made in my life. So much respect for both programs! I've decided to play my next four years at the University of Notre Dame! I have so much respect for Coach Hazell. I've never met someone with such high character. However, I'm ecstatic to go play for coach Kelly at the University of Notre Dame! Go Irish! "
Tranquill, a potential linebacker/safety from Ft. Wayne, Ind., is commitment No. 18 for the Irish in the current recruiting cycle. Four-star wide receiver Justin Brent, a product of Speedway, Ind., is the other in-state pledge.
Summer camp originally put Tranquill on the radar in earnest.
Irish coaches worked out the 6-foot-2, 205-pound prospect in mid-June but declined to offer a scholarship until the first week of August. Tranquill had already been committed to Purdue for over a week.
"I'm honored by the offer," Tranquill told Irish Illustrated at the time. "Committed to Purdue, but my family and I will give an honest look to all my options in order to make the best decision."
Tranquill did just that. Twice during the season he visited South Bend: Once for the Michigan State game then again for the matchup against USC along with several other targets.
Purdue also played host a couple times during the season. Head coach Darrell Hazell also began recruiting Tranquill's younger brother, Justin, a safety and slot receiver. Justin scored a scholarship offer earlier this month.
Drue, however, has no shortage of connections to the Notre Dame program. Freshman linebacker Jaylon Smith is a friend and longtime training partner at AWP in Fort Wayne.
Tranquill watched from the stands inside Notre Dame Stadium as Smith collected his first career interception, doing it against USC.
"That was awesome," Tranquill told Irish Illustrated after the visit. "I was so excited for the kid, seeing all his hard work finally pay off. It was cool being able to see a guy you've trained with go in as a true freshman and make such a big play in a rivalry game. I was just jumping out of my seat, excited for him."
Adding Tranquill keeps the Ft. Wayne-to-Notre Dame pipeline flowing. Smith, defensive lineman Tony Springmann, former tight end Tyler Eifert and former wide receiver John Goodman all came from the city less than two hours east of campus.