Each week during the college football season we will feature a player who is an officer for an Uplifting Athletes Chapter for our Beyond the Trophy series.
Name: Justin Tranquill
College: Western Michigan University
Height, weight, class, position: 5-11, 200-pound, senior, safety
High School: Carroll HS in Huntertown, Ind.
About Justin: The one-time 4-star recruit from Indiana has overcome two major injuries at WMU to become a regular contributor as a senior. … Justin played four games as a freshman before the first injury in 2015 and was forced him to take a redshirt. He started all 14 games in 2016 and was second on the team in tackles, then again in 2017 he suffered a season-ending injury against Michigan State. The two-time Academic All-MAC selection started 12 of 13 games in 2018. Justin attended the 2018 Leadership Development Conference and was instrumental, along with teammate Jamauri Bogan, in helping co-found the Western Michigan Chapter. He ascended to the role of Chapter President following the 2018 football season and after more than 18 months of hard work that saw the WMU Chapter hold a Rare Disease Awareness Game and participate in Touchdown Pledge Drive in 2018, the Broncos held their inaugural Lift For Life in the late spring of 2019.
What is your most memorable experience as a college football player?
TRANQUILL: 2016 season – Everything about the season was surreal. Beating Northwestern to start the year, spanking Illinois, going undefeated in our regular season, having College Gameday come to campus, winning the MAC Championship, going to the Cotton Bowl. Unforgettable year.
What drove you to get involved with Uplifting Athletes?
TRANQUILL: We had new members join our staff when we had a coaching change and Drew Robinson had experience with Uplifting Athletes prior. After connecting with Brett Brackett at Uplifting Athletes, myself and Jamauri (Bogan) went to Atlanta for the Uplifting Athletes Leadership Development Conference. It was incredible to hear about the story and purpose behind Uplifting Athletes, and it was something Jamauri and myself were excited to be a part of at Western Michigan.
What have you learned from your experience with Uplifting Athletes?
TRANQUILL: Life is bigger than you! Especially as a college football player, the spotlight is often focused on the athletes, but being a part of an organization that gives athletes the opportunity to be a light for others, and inspire hope in a community that lacks enough of it. I’ve gained perspective in working with Uplifting Athletes that my circumstances are profoundly less difficult when I take a moment to consider how much I am blessed with in comparison to what others suffer and endure.
What advice would you share with someone in high school looking to play college football?
TRANQUILL: Strong outlast the weak, the smart outlast the strong.
Who is your favorite NFL player and why?
TRANQUILL: My older brother, Drue Tranquill of the San Diego Chargers.
If you could have lunch with any one person (dead or alive), who would you choose and why?
TRANQUILL: Jesus Christ – Would be pretty awesome to get some grub with the Son of God.
JUSTIN ON THE HOT SEAT
What is your perfect pizza?
TRANQUILL: Blaze Pizza: ham, chicken, bacon, pineapples, banana peppers, spinach, sea salt, oregano, ranch and bbq sauce
All time favorite movie?
TRANQUILL: Marvel Movies til I die yo (Probs Endgame though)
What is your go-to fast food restaurant?
Favorite sports team (any sport)?
TRANQUILL: Die-hard Western Michigan Broncos fan – any sport
What is the most used app on your phone?
TRANQUILL: Facetime (if that counts)