Then football came along. And once he realized he was pretty good at it, and perhaps had a future in it after high school, his mindset began to change.
“I started thinking about having to give up football after senior year (of high school) and never play again,” Tranquill said. “It was a decision I thought about for a year or two, then decided on football.”
Tranquill still plays high school baseball, but has put the onus on becoming a more complete football player to make it to the next level. He works out with AWP President Michael Ledo and is a top player on AWP's 7-on-7 team.
Standing out at linebacker and safety in 7-on-7, as well as exceptional performances on the summer camp circuit, has vaulted Tranquill's stock in the eyes of colleges.
He recently earned a fourth-star out of a possible five-star ranking on Scout.com, a national recruiting service.
Rivals.com, another recruiting service, has the 6-foot-2, 205-pounder as a three-star recruit and the No. 9 overall player in the state of Indiana in the Class of 2014.
Not bad for someone who has only recently made football a priority.
“I got on the recruiting scene late, so I have had ground to make up with colleges,” Tranquill said. “A lot of them just started getting looks at me when AWP started taking me to camps and stuff like that.”
Tranquill recently attended Notre Dame's Elite Prospect Camp that was held on June 21. While he was not extended a scholarship offer, the Fighting Irish coaching staff did tell them that they would be in touch in the near future and that they could see him at safety.
“I have spoken to Coach (Brian) Kelly and (assistant head coach) Bob Diaco,” Tranquill said. “They said they would meet as a staff and get back to me.”
Michigan and Brady Hoke have also expressed interest, but that may cool after the Wolverines earned a commitment on Monday from three-star linebacker Noah Furbush. Michigan had spoken to Tranquill about playing outside linebacker in its 4-3 base defense.
The two other schools in Tranquill's final four, Cincinnati and Purdue, have both offered scholarships, with the Bearcats recruiting him as a linebacker and the Boilermakers as a defensive athlete.
“What schools have told me is that not just my speed and physical finesse stands out, but also my footwork,” Tranquill said. “Being polished and not being just a raw athlete is huge for me.”
At this point in the process, Tranquill would have to put Purdue as a slight leader for his services.
“Purdue is most likely at the top, because I have been there the most,” Tranquill said. “But it is still up in the air.”
Tranquill was far from raw a year ago as he rarely left the field for Carroll, playing in all three facets of the game, including punter. While another exceptional season for the Chargers may bring about more offers, he would prefer to make a decision prior to the fall.
“I am looking right now at end of July, beginning of August on when I will likely make my decision,” Tranquill said. “Things are winding down and once I take my last few visits and get my family there and see what they think, we will go from there.”
While most big-name recruits typically wait through their senior season to decide on a college, Tranquill wants to get his decision over with, even with recent overtures from Michigan State and Wisconsin.
“I want to shift the focus off me and help Carroll win a state title,” Tranquill said.