In preparing for the biggest football game of his life, Carroll junior Justin Tranquill got some of the biggest life news of his life Wednesday.
The Chargers' two-way star received a scholarship offer from coach Darrell Hazell and Purdue, joining his older brother Drue with offers from the Boilermakers.
Drue is a soft verbal to Purdue and is still deciding between the Boilermakers and Notre Dame.
But Wednesday was all about Justin.
“I was in home room and (Carroll coach Doug Dinan) called me out and told (me) Purdue wanted me to call them,” Justin said. “When I did call, they told me that Purdue wanted to offer me a scholarship.
“It is my first big BCS offer, so it is a big encouragement for me.”
Being recruited by the Boilers as an athlete who could play running back, slot or defensive back, Justin has amassed 1,447 yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground this season on 164 carries. The 6-foot, 190-pounder has shined beside Drue as one of the most electrifying 1-2 offensive punches in the state.
The brothers Tranquill visited West Lafayette last weekend for the loss to Ohio State, with Justin not really feeling any vibe that a scholarship offer was imminent.
"(Purdue running backs coach Jafar Williams) told me he thought I would get an offer, but he didn't think it would happen until the end of the season,” Justin said. “He said Coach Hazell doesn't just throw out offers. You have to be that right fit and the right guy.”
Justin does not believe Drue's verbal commitment will affect his decision much.
“Since I was a little kid I have pictured playing with him at the next level,” Justin said. “But I cannot base my decision on where Drue is going to go. I have to choose what's best for me.”
Purdue is the third scholarship offer for Justin, joining Eastern Michigan and Toledo who offered late in the summer. Indiana has been in regular contact with the junior, along with Michigan State, Cincinnati and a host of MAC schools.
Justin hopes to get to an Indiana game before the end of the season, which may end up being the Old Oaken Bucket rivalry game with Purdue on Nov. 30. He may also visit Cincinnati.
But for now, Justin and the Chargers (9-2) are focused on the Class 6A regional game with No. 6-ranked Carmel (8-3) Friday night.
“I just want to kind of slow things down (in terms of visits),” Justin said. “I want to focus on our football team right now.”