Recruiting: Irish impress Tranquill, extend more offers
Mike Monaco | Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Fort Wayne, Ind., native Drue Tranquill took an official visit to Notre Dame for the Michigan State game, and the Irish made a good impression on the 6-foot-3, 207-pounder, according to Notre Dame recruiting expert Mike Frank.
Tranquill, who committed to Purdue on July 23rd and received an offer from Notre Dame soon thereafter, had reportedly expressed concern over his position – either linebacker or safety – with the Irish. Frank, who runs the ESPN-affiliated Irish Sports Daily, said he thinks Notre Dame alleviated Tranquill’s concerns.
“Notre Dame reiterated their stance on where they see him defensively,” Frank said. “They’ve basically said, ‘You’re being recruited as a defensive player and wherever you work out the best is where you’re going to play. If you look good at safety and that’s where you want to start out, well then that’s what we’ll take a look at and see if that works. If it does, you’ll stay there. If not, we’ll look at other options.’
“I think it was important for him to hear he’d get a chance to play other positions and he wasn’t going to get pigeonholed into one specific position. So I think that that really helped their chances. I would say it would not surprise me if he flipped from Purdue to Notre Dame and fairly soon.”
Tranquill had the chance to spend time with the two other visiting members of the class of 2014, linebacker Jonathan Bonner and receiver Justin Brent, both of whom are already committed to Notre Dame.
“I think Notre Dame kind of put their best foot forward,” Frank said. “[Tranquill] got to hang out with Jonathan Bonner and Justin Brent and I think he really felt like he fit in with those guys.”
As for Bonner and Brent, meanwhile, Frank said he believes they had a “wonderful” time on their visits and solidified their opinions on Notre Dame. Frank said he would be shocked if either player reneged on his commitment.
The Irish also hosted three players from the class of 2015: Quarterback Jack Beneventi, linebacker Justin Hilliard and running back Darrin Hall. Beneventi is the No. 273 player in the nation, according to ESPN, and Hall checks in at No. 191. Hilliard, who cracks the top 150 at No. 145, hails from Cincinnati. Frank said he thinks Hilliard’s decision will come down to Ohio State and Notre Dame and that the linebacker’s comfort level with each team’s players could play a huge factor in the choice.
Recently, the Irish have extended more offers to members of the class of 2015, driving the number of offered prospects up to 26, per Irish Sports Daily. Of those 26 players, Frank said some of the most interesting prospects are Hilliard, cornerback John Reid, defensive end/linebacker Jashon Cornell, defensive tackle Rasheem Green, offensive lineman Tristen Hoge and quarterback Torrance Gibson.
“[Gibson] kind of fits exactly what they’re looking for right now,” Frank said. “There’s a bunch of other guys they’re looking at [for] quarterback right now, but he’s kind of the mobile guy that fits and looks like what they’re looking for.”
ESPN ranks Gibson as 25th-best player in the nation.
Only one player in the class of 2015 – offensive lineman Jerry Tillery, has committed to Notre Dame thus far. Tillery, the 6-foot-7, 312-pounder from Shreveport, La., will make a visit to South Bend this weekend.
“Obviously Tillery is a very important recruit and he’s a guy that they’ve loved and think is just a tremendous prospect,” Frank said. “So it’s important to get Jerry Tillery up on campus as much as they can and around the offensive linemen so he feels comfortable up here. It’s a long way from South Bend to [Louisiana]. Sometimes these guys can feel a little disconnected after awhile so it is important to get these guys on campus and around each other and just feeling more comfortable and at home. So I think that’s important for him to come up and have a good visit and just solidify in his head the reasons he chose ND.”
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