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July 23, 2013
FORT WAYNE - Drue Tranquill told Darrell Hazell on Monday he'd be committing to Purdue, a decision he didn't make public until Tuesday evening, though there was very little suspense at Carroll High School when he did.
In front of a nearly full room of teammates, coaches, family and media, Tranquill made official what was already pretty apparent, that he'd be chosen the Boilermakers over other offers from Cincinnati and Indiana and interest from Michigan and Notre Dame, neither of which offered, at least not yet.
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Rivals.com three-star prospect's decision had little to do with positional specifics. He doesn't even know which one he'll play, whether it be outside linebacker or safety.
Rather, Tranquill's path to West Lafayette was guided by three primary factors.
First was academics. Tranquill doesn't know whether his chosen course of study will lie in biomedical or chemical engineering, but either way, Purdue's engineering school was important.
Second, Tranquill said, was people, notably Hazell and his assistant coaches, and the players the recruit met with during an unofficial visit Monday.
"The players really had nothing bad to say about the university," Tranquill said, "and that's really who you're going to hear best from."
Third was the school's proximity to his home in Fort Wayne, where Tranquill landed after his family moved from Alabama when he was in sixth grade.
It's been an interesting story for Tranquill, who didn't fully commit to football until after his junior season, when a back injury contributed to his decision to pursue a future on the gridiron instead of baseball. So, too, did the renewed enthusiasm he felt for the game in the spring, training with AWP Sports in the Fort Wayne area.
Once Tranquill went all in on football, recruiters went all in on him.
He impressed on both the college camp and 7-on-7 circuits this spring, building his name as a hot prospect very quickly and catching Purdue's attention, specifically, with his speed when he ran at the Boilermakers' camp, a performance that opened the Purdue staff's eyes to different possibilities.
"They were recruiting me as an outside linebacker before I went to their camp," Tranquill said. "I went to their camp and ran consecutive 4.49s and that was huge, because they were able to see how mobile I am in space. They don't know where they want me right now. They recruited me as a defensive athlete. Really, it's going to be about how I fit in their program and how I fill out (physically)."
A junior day visit months earlier, Tranquill said, had already put Purdue in a strong position with him, so the offer that finally came was a significant one.
And on Tuesday, Purdue landed another coveted in-state targeted and possibly re-stoked the momentum that was generated earlier in the spring/summer with the commitments of touted recruits Denzel Ward and Gelen Robinson and the breakout showing of quarterback David Blough at the Elite 11.
Tranquill is a highly regarded recruit, but also chock full of important intangibles, his coach said.
"Physically, emotionally, spiritually, he carries himself very well," Carroll coach Doug Dinan said. "He's a very good leader. He has a very good relationship with all his teammates and they all respect him and so do people outside our program.
"All the attributes you want within your program, he has them all."
Who'd know better than his younger brother, Justin Tranquill, a junior who'll go through the recruiting process himself in the year to come.
"The one thing I've always noticed in him ever since we were younger has been his leadership," Justin Tranquill said. "He's always taken charge, both on and off the field. He knows what he's doing and likes to invest in the lives on others.
"He's just a great leader overall. You can just tell with him."
By committing to Purdue, Drue Tranquill was sold on the program's new leadership.
"I believe Purdue is on the rise with this new coaching staff," Tranquill said. "A new legacy awaits."
For much more on Tranquill, check out the attached video interview and stay tuned to GoldandBlack.com tomorrow for more.
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