Justin Tranquill joined the Western Michigan Broncos as the highest rated recruit in program history. With a 4 star ranking, he was offered a scholarship from multiple Big Ten schools, but chose to join the magic that PJ Fleck was creating in Kalamazoo.
In his first season with the program, in 2015, he saw action in 4 games before an injury forced him to redshirt. During the storybook 2016 season, he started in every game and was second on the team in tackles with 86.
From the first time I watched him play, his talent was obvious. Also obvious was how raw he was. In our internal chat, I would type, “Terrible angle by 2” multiple times each game. As the season progressed, I was typing it less and less. The only reason I kept bringing it up was because of all the potential he displayed.
Even though the Broncos were well represented in the post season awards, I thought it was a little strange that he wasn’t included on the All-MAC squads. I think that was more a product of the depth the league had than it was on the season he had.
2017 looks to be a big one for the redshirt sophomore. After a little bit of a tease, Robert Spillane is back in the middle for the Bronco defense. I believe this will be huge for Tranquill, because it gives the defense a leader and allows Tranquill to continue to focus on his own game. When it’s all said and done, I fully expect number 2 to go down as one of the all-time Bronco greats.