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It seems as if even at the highest levels of recruiting, some information can slip through the cracks between coaches.
Carroll senior Justin Tranquill found that out at Irish Invasion last weekend.
While conversing with Notre Dame defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks, Tranquill asked about playing at the back end of the defense at the next level.
“Coach Cooks said, 'No, we see you playing running back or slot receiver, we don't really have time to train DBs once we get up here,'” Tranquill said. “I stood there kind of confused and told him I play DB in high school.”
The majority of Tranquill's highlight tape that had been viewed by Notre Dame was on the offensive side of the ball, and with Cooks not his primary recruiter the information seemingly was lost in the shuffle.
Notre Dame assistant Mike Elston recruits Indiana and is familiar with Tranquill's abilities on both sides of the ball after taking in a Carroll game last season. To reinforce his versatility, Tranquill sent some defensive highlights to Elston as soon as he could.
The tape will surely help going forward as Tranquill looks to add a Notre Dame offer. Schools are recruiting him both on offense and defense at the next level, with Tranquill exhibiting high-end skills to play on either side of the ball.
Tranquill, a four-star prospect according to Scout.com, a national Internet recruiting service, currently has scholarship offers from Indiana, Purdue, Illinois, Cincinnati and several MAC schools.
He has been in close contact with the Fighting Irish, Michigan and Michigan State in recent weeks, including recent visits to South Bend and Ann Arbor.
Tranquill shined for AWP Sports at the IMG 7v7 National Championships last weekend, helping to limit some of the most dynamic receivers in the country.
“We definitely had our hands full with those guys,” said the 5-foot-11, 195-pound Tranquill. “We had some … big-time receivers (to go against).”
While brother Drue had the 6-foot-3 height and body type to immediately turn recruiters' heads, Justin has had to work at it more. Justin has worked to beef his body up and look the role of a Division I prospect, then using his play on the football field to back that opinion up.
“When coaches saw (Drue) it was a 'wow' factor, but I'm not the same size as him,” Justin said. “I have to make plays and show coaches that I am a competitor.”
Justin made plenty of plays for Carroll as a junior last season. He rushed for 1,447 yards and 18 touchdowns while grabbing 26 receptions and a score.
Defensively, Justin had 15 tackles and three interceptions.
Justin hopes to return to Notre Dame sometime this summer for a camp, but does not yet have a date set. He will visit Ohio State for a camp on July 25.