In what he called “the hardest decision I've made in my life”, Carroll senior Drue Tranquill made his final college decision on Tuesday evening, switching his commitment from Purdue to Coach Brian Kelly and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
“I prayed about (the decision) for about three months and I was blessed to have an opportunity from two great universities,” Tranquill said. “In no way is (my decision) demeaning to Purdue University. I love the school, love the coaches and love what they stand for.
“But the best fit and best opportunity was where I felt at home (at Notre Dame).”
The 6-foot-2, 212-pound Tranquill originally committed to Purdue and Coach Darrell Hazell in July, but received a scholarship offer from the Fighting Irish soon after.
Since then, the Carroll two-way standout had been debating whether to stick to his commitment to the Boilermakers or make the switch to Notre Dame. He had made several visits to each campus over the last few months before coming to a decision in his mind towards the end of the Chargers' season.
“I knew in my heart (it would be Notre Dame) towards the end of football season, and that is when I announced I would make a decision shortly after (the season),” Tranquill said. “I didn't want (the attention) on me, but rather on my team.”
Tranquill helped lead Carroll to a 9-3 record and the program's second-consecutive sectional championship. He rushed for 1,403 yards and 28 touchdowns on 114 carries, an average of 12.3 yards per carry.
He also caught 16 passes for 348 yards and five scores.
Defensively, Tranquill notched 62 tackles at linebacker, including 18 tackles for loss. He also had four sacks and an interception.
Tranquill informed both coaches of his decision with telephone calls on Tuesday, with the call to Coach Hazell “the hardest thing I've done in my life to this point.”
“(Coach Hazell) is one of the highest character men I've ever met,” Tranquill said. “He carries himself in a professional manner.”
Notre Dame projects Tranquill as a defensive athlete, with his size when he arrives in South Bend a determining factor on where he ends up.
“If I get to campus around 215 (pounds) I will probably start at safety,” Tranquill said. “But if I am big enough to play the linebacker role, I will start there. I won't be sure until I get there.”
Tranquill mentioned junior running back Cam McDaniel and Class of 2014 quarterback recruit DeShone Kizer as two players who he connected with at Notre Dame.
As for academics, Tranquill hopes to take advantage of a dual degree program at Notre Dame where he can earn an entrepreneurship business degree to coincide with a mechanical engineering degree.
Tranquill is rated as a three-star prospect on a five-star scale and the No. 7 player in Indiana by Rivals, a national recruiting service.
Notre Dame's recruiting class is now up to 18 commits and ranks No. 9 overall according to Rivals.