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The Journal Gazette

  • Associated Press Former Notre Dame and Carroll standout Drue Tranquill was selected Saturday by the Los Angeles Chargers in the fourth round of the NFL draft.

Sunday, April 28, 2019 1:00 am

A Charger once more

LA selects Tranquill in the 4th round; Giants snag Love earlier

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

Surrounded by family and friends Saturday afternoon, with his Notre Dame and Carroll jerseys framed in the background, Drue Tranquill got the call he had been waiting on for three days.

On the other end of the line were the Los Angeles Chargers, calling to let him know they were going to be taking him in the fourth round with the 130th overall pick in the NFL draft. About all the linebacker could say, over and over, was “Thank you, thank you.”

Tranquill, who will join Notre Dame teammate Jerry Tillery with the Chargers, was one of four Notre Dame players selected on the draft's third day and the third Fort Wayne native picked in the last four years. He follows Bishop Luers' Jaylon Smith and Snider's Jessie Bates III into the NFL.

“It was incredible, probably the second-most special moment in my life, behind marrying my wife, Jackie,” Tranquill told WANE-TV. “You don't know what to expect and it's just a wave of emotion that hits you.”

The two-time Notre Dame captain's life changed when he left for Notre Dame five years ago, as well. He wasn't a highly touted recruit, but Carroll coach Doug Dinan said he knew Tranquill had a chance to make a name for himself with the Irish.

“It was not a surprise at all,” Dinan said of Tranquill's star turn. “We've seen some quality guys in Fort Wayne and Drue is up there with those great players that have gone through the city. There was always something special about him. He was going to reach every goal that he wanted.

“I felt, honestly, when he went to Notre Dame, that this was a possibility, that he could play in the league.”

Tranquill's wife, Jackie, who is due to have the couple's first child in May, was by his side, hugging him excitedly as he took the call. After he got off the phone, Tranquill filmed a video for Notre Dame fans, who have cheered him on over the last half-decade. He spoke as the strains of the Dropkick Murphys' “I'm Shipping Up to Boston” blared in the background.

“What's up ND nation?” he said. “I just wanted to thank you so much for the past five years, you guys have meant so much to me. I know I'm going to be across the country, but you guys are always in my heart.”

Tranquill was the second Irish player picked on the draft's third day, as cornerback Julian Love beat him by 22 picks. The New York Giants chose the All-American with the 108th selection and Love will have immediate competition with the team's first-round pick, former Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker.

Later in the day, running back Dexter Williams went in the sixth round to the Green Bay Packers and the New Orleans Saints selected tight end Alize Mack in the seventh and final round, giving Notre Dame a half-dozen selections in the draft overall.

Indiana joined Notre Dame on the draft board when offensive guard Wes Martin went to Washington in the fourth round, one pick after Tranquill at No. 131. The Hoosiers have had at least one player picked in six straight drafts.

Notable undrafted free agent signings: Alex Bars (Bears), Sam Mustipher (Bears), Tyler Newsome (Chargers), Te'von Coney (Raiders) and Nick Coleman (Raiders) from Notre Dame; Brandon Knight (Cowboys) and Dan Godsil (Buccaneers) from Indiana; David Blough (Browns), Jacob Thieneman (Giants), Cole Herdman (Ravens) and Terry Wright (Seahawks) from Purdue.

dsinn@jg.net