Darrell Hazell has done it again. Linebacker has been a weakness on the defense for many years. Unlike previous coaches, coach Hazell has addressed this. First, he went out and got four-star Gelen Robinson, who projects as a linebacker in college. Now, he has another four-star defensive player in Drue Tranquill of Carroll High School in Ft. Wayne.
Traquill is a 3-star by Rivals, 3-star by ESPN, 4-star by Scout, and 4-star by 247 Sports. He is listed currently as a 6'2", 207 pound safety, but could be an outside linebacker once he gets to college. In addition to Purdue Indiana and Cincinnati were after him, but a good summer has gotten him on the radar for Notre Dame, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Wisconsin. Fortunately, Purdue was on him early and he was happy to commit tonight:
Michigan was possibly the most interested:
Surprise LB/SS prospect Drue Tranquill will be the most scrutinized player at the camp. He impressed a multitude of Big Ten coaches at this weekend's SMSB camp and could earn an offer as a safety or linebacker. I don't think he has the speed to play on the back end in college, so the staff could push him to put weight on and move down if he does indeed receive an offer. I think he could be the heady Jordan Kovas of the linebackers, if that makes any sense at all.
Here is what Michigan State fans thought of him:
Tranquill covers ground effortlessly as a safety and had some really pass breakups at the camp, but his future at MSU might be at a different position.
"The camp went well and I feel like I played well," he said. "The coaches saw me a lot at safety and they do have three linebackers committed but don't really have a true STAR linebacker and a hybrid safety-linebacker.
Tranquill is not just a good player, he fills a desperate need in the middle of the defense that has been missing for a very long time. If he stays at safety he fills a role that has been filled by three walk-ons as starters in recent years (Frank Duong, Logan Link, and Landon Feichter). While all three players performed very well and exceeded expectations, there is a difference between the physicality they can bring and a player like Tranquill.
If he goes to linebacker there is even more of a need. I think the last great linebackers we had were Niko Koutouvides and Landon Johnson. That leaves the infamous middle of the field wide open on third down.
Here is some video on Tranquill. We got ourselves an excellent player here.