Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 12, 2016

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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18 SEPT. 12, 2016 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY LOU SOMOGYI "Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kind, b/c you know that the testing of your faith produces perse- verance." S hortly after his second ACL surgery within 11 months — one on his left knee in Novem- ber 2014 and the other on his right knee in October 2015 — current Notre Dame junior safety Drue Tran- quill's Twitter account produced the above message of not self-pity but thanksgiving. When combining mind, body and spirit, not many in college football rival Tranquill. As a 2014 freshman, he played 11 games, including three starts at safety, before tearing his left ACL near the end of the first half— yet still played on it the entire second half — in a home loss to Louisville. He made an interception on it, to boot. "That's how strong he is. His ham- string and quad area is so strong that he passed his ACL test," Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said at the time. "Then he comes in on Sunday and he's swollen. … We get an MRI. He has an ACL [tear]." In a freakishly fast convalescence, Tranquill returned to partake in 2015 spring drills, minus major contact work. Then in week three of 2015 versus defending Orange Bowl champion Georgia Tech's vaunted triple-option attack, Tranquill had a dominant first half that included making four solo stops, with two for lost yardage, and breaking up a pass in the end zone. Alas, the latter resulted in a chest- bump celebration with linebacker Joe Schmidt that produced an awkward Junior safety Drue Tranquill has excelled on the football field and in the classroom, while also rehabbing from two knee surgeries Tranquill played in 14 games the past two years before ACL tears ended both seasons. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA THE WARRIOR

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