Drue Tranquill is a mature guy, a reasonable guy, a guy who sticks to his word.
The Carroll senior is also a bit confused.
Can you blame him? He had committed to play football at Purdue, which is gearing toward a return to Big Ten title relevance under new coach Darrell Hazell, only to have Notre Dame, 10 days after the fact, finally offer a scholarship.
The Irish have returned to national championship contention under coach Brian Kelly. If you're a quality player, and Tranquill certainly is given he's rated among the state's top-10 prospects, you've got to take a look. Tranquill hopes to visit Notre Dame on Saturday.
“I'm honored by the offer,” he said. “It's a great school. I'll give them an honest look like I have with every other school that has offered me a scholarship. What 17-year-old kid wouldn't give Notre Dame a look? I'm committed to Purdue and Purdue is the best fit for me, but we'll see when I get down there.”
Notre Dame is looking at the 6-2, 205-pound Tranquill as a linebacker. Purdue sees him as a “defensive athlete,” which means he could be safety or linebacker or a kind of hybrid mix to maximize his athleticism.
At Carroll Tranquill will be a two-way player, plus more when you consider special teams. That will include time at receiver and Wildcat quarterback.
Tranquill wanted to have the college question resolved so he could focus on what looms as a Carroll state title run in the new 6A division.
Instead, he's got to take another look.
“It is confusing,” he said. “You get everyone pulling you -- go here, go there. Ultimately, it's a business decision. It will be what's best for me and my family.”
He said he won't let it distract from his Carroll obligations.
“I put all that aside and learned to handle all the pressure to go here, go there. I'm used to that. I don't like it to get to my head. I take it with a humble heart. Be blessed to have the opportunities I have.”
Like Tranquill, Carroll coach Doug Dinan figured if the Irish were going to offer, they'd have offered before Tranquill made his announcement.
“I was very surprised because of the communication he had with (Notre Dame),” Dinan said.
“It's a tough situation for him and his family. He wants to be through it. I can't predict the direction he'll go. He was very sound and happy with his decision to commit to Purdue. I don't know if this will change or not.”
Tranquill said he wants to make a final decision before the high school season starts. Dinan is certain that he will.
“He'll come to a conclusion very soon, if not by the end of August. All along he's felt that way.”
As far as the timing of Notre Dame's offer, Dinan said it's part of the cutthroat nature of recruiting.
“The statement somebody once made was, you're not really being recruited until you make a commitment, then everybody comes out of the woodwork.
“I'm not one to make a judgment. To a point, it's not very fair to the kid and the family. They've been through the process. They've made a decision.”
Tranquill isn't the only athlete with Fort Wayne area ties dealing with recruiting uncertainty. Former Bishop Luers guard James Blackmon Jr., who will play his senior season at Marion High School, recently reopened his recruiting. He had committed to Indiana before he entered high school.
Tranquill, who once thought baseball would be his college sport, didn't get offers at that age.
“I wasn't in a situation where I could have committed my freshman year. I know James is a great player. He had that opportunity.
“I couldn't imagine committing that early. You're not mature enough to make that decision.
“I'm thankful I waited. I'm mature enough to understand it's not just about football, it's about the degree you'll get and the opportunity to develop yourself into the best football player and student athlete.”