Shortly after being selected 130th overall in the fourth round, linebacker Drue Tranquill hopped on the phone for his first ever interview as a Charger.
Question: Drue Tranquil – how does it feel to be a Charger?
Tranquill: It’s amazing, man! Our mascot in high school was a Charger, so I guess once a Charger, always a Charger! This is such a special moment, I can’t describe. It’s second in my life after getting married to my wife.
Question: You’re also in a nice little situation where you get to go through your rookie year with a teammate of yours from Notre Dame. How great is that?
Tranquill: Oh, it’s incredible. Jerry is there. We also have Isaac Rochell there. So just to have two former teammates of mine there, just to learn and grow with them, it’s going to be a special, special time. I can’t wait to get after it and get one of these Super Bowls.
Question: A two-time captain at Notre Dame is a pretty big deal. What kind of player, and person, are the Chargers getting in you?
Tranquill: They’re getting a complete football player who has a passion and love for this game, not only on the field but off the field, and in the community. They are getting a versatile guy who can play all four downs. A guy who can cover and run sideline to sideline. A guy who can still hold (his own) and play special teams. I want to be a captain off the field and in the community.
Question: You accomplished a lot at Notre Dame, but what was your proudest accomplishment?
Tranquill: On the field, it has to be being a two-time captain. You can talk about stats. You can talk about whatever. But at the end of the day, we were 4-8 in 2016, and I knew that was unacceptable. We knew we had so much more in the tank. In 2017 and 2018 I’m a captain, and we were able to turn the ship around, me and our coaching staff. They did a great job bringing people in and captain, and we turned the ship around (having) a 12-0 regular season and having a chance to play for a College Football National Championship. So being a two-time captain voted on by my teammates, that was my proudest moment and accomplishment I had.
Question: That’s awesome. But now that you are joining the pros, what is it you are most looking forward to proving your rookie year?
Tranquill: Man, I’m just excited because it’s been such a long process. These four months have been long with doing all this combine stuff. All this testing. I’m just so excited to put on the pads again, and getting to get out there with my new teammates. Just learning the playbook and getting back to playing the game I love.
Question: Speaking of those teammates, you get to join a defense with some big-time playmakers. Joey Bosa. Casey Hayward. Melvin Ingram. Derwin James. I can go on and on….
Tranquill: Whenever you have great players, it makes things a lot easier. We have a lot of playmakers over there. I can’t wait to just get out there and learn from those guys, and contribute to winning a Super Bowl.
Question: You changed to linebacker after three seasons as a safety. Why the move, and why does linebacker suit you better?
Tranquill: I think in the most basic terms, I just love to hunt! I just love to be by the football and in the action. I’m a real hands-on guy. A physical guy. So the position just fits me better than it did safety. I can create some mismatches when I’m lined up on tight ends and running backs. I provide an advantage for our team there, so I think my versatility allows me to move around. I’m strong enough and big enough to play that position, but I bring the athletic skillset of a safety to linebacker, which is what you see the game evolving to.
Question: Finally, what do you want to tell all your new fans out there?
Tranquill: My family and I, my wife and future son, we’re so grateful to be Chargers. That you’re welcoming us with open arms and giving us this opportunity. I will continue to work as hard as I can. My goal in college was to win a national championship, and I fell short of that, but now I’ve shifted my eyes and my focus is on winning a Super Bowl and bringing that to the city of L.A. I couldn’t be more excited for this opportunity, and I can’t wait to get to know the fans and community and get involved. I’m very grateful.