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After a year of assisting and supporting his brother Drue in his recruiting process that eventually saw him land at Notre Dame, Carroll junior Justin Tranquill is starting to hit his stride in his own football recruiting journey.
That journey picked up speed last week as the 5-foot-10, 175-pound Tranquill was named MVP of the Core 6 Showcase in Chicago.
The Core 6 event is one of the best combine events in the Midwest for juniors looking to boost their stock heading into the spring.
“I felt pressure to go out and do (well),” Tranquill said. “Throughout the week (leading up Core 6) I was stressed out about it. I prayed to be able to do what I was trained for.”
Tranquill did just that and more, showcasing his speed and athleticism in a variety of drills.
The performance paid immediate dividends as Illinois head coach Tim Beckman, who was at the event watching his son, offered a scholarship to Tranquill soon after.
That offer is the fourth for Tranquill, joining Purdue, Toledo and Eastern Michigan.
“It was a blessing and exciting,” Tranquill said about the Illinois offer. “It was a huge step in the process.”
Other schools that have expressed interest include Indiana, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Oregon. He was also contacted recently via Facebook by a defensive coach from Nebraska.
Tranquill is rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, a national Internet recruiting service, as well as the No. 10 player in the state of Indiana in the Class of 2015.
This weekend will be a busy one for Tranquill as he will visit Illinois on Saturday to meet Beckman for the first time, then go to Indiana on Sunday to check out the Hoosiers.
As for which position he projects at for college, it depends on who he is talking to. Notre Dame has talked to him about coming in as a running back, while Purdue has him penciled in as a defensive athlete at either corner or safety. Other schools have told him they like him at slot receiver.
Tranquill says he is not partial to offense or defense.
“Originally when I was younger and growing up I always wanted to play running back on offense,” Tranquill said. “Since I have been doing a lot of training on defense lately (at) safety and corner, I definitely see myself succeeding there. But I still like offense. They are about even really."
Tranquill does not have much on his schedule right now for the coming months, but he knows it will get busy with showcases and combines once the weather warms up.
As for learning from his brother's recruiting process, Tranquill says he took some pointers but will forge his own path.
“(Drue's recruitment) didn't really affect me as much as I thought it would have,” Tranquill said. “Obviously, he went through a lot and I could see what the recruiting process is like.
“I have a list of criteria, and when I find a college that meets my criteria, I will pull the trigger. But I don't want to rush anything.”