Los Angeles Chargers Linebacker Drue Tranquill is no stranger to the spotlight. After graduating from Carroll High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana as a 4-Star Recruit, Drue made his way to South Bend to play for the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
While at Notre Dame, Tranquill made a profound impact as a leader both on and off the field. Tranquill was a 2-time captain, the winner of the The 2018 Wuerffel Trophy and named a finalist for the 2018 William V. Campbell Trophy.
From there, Tranquill was drafted by the Los Angeles Chargers in the 4th Round (130th Overall) in the 2019 NFL Draft. After his rookie season, Tranquill was named to the 2019 Pro Football Writers Association All-Rookie Team for his contributions on special teams.
Now, in his fourth season in the National Football League and playing his best football yet, Tranquill sat down to discuss what he’s been wearing on his neck this season and why it’s critical that football players utilize everything at their disposal to help protect their brains:
How did you first find out about the Q-Collar?
“It’s a funny story actually. We actually wore the Q-Collar back in 2016 when I was playing at Notre Dame. We were kind of their first beta trial when they were first trying to get data on it.”
What made you want to try the Q-Collar?
“I first wanted to try the Q-Collar when they brought it to Notre Dame for beta testing. I thought it was really interesting. I saw guys like Luke Kuechly wearing it in the NFL. In a contact sport like football, head protection is at a premium. Although it was a device that hadn’t been tested or clinically proven at the time, as someone who was studying Mechanical Engineering at Notre Dame, I saw the science behind it and thought it was legitimate.”
Once your football career ends, what do you want to do with your life post-playing career?
“In my life after football, my dream has always been to be an incredible husband and father so those two things are really important to me. Whatever I do, whether it’s coaching, teaching, business or something else, I just want to be on my two feet, active and totally engaged with my family.”
Why do you think it’s important to take action in protecting your brain?
“The reason I think it’s so important to take actions to protect your brain is that we play a very high-contact sport. The science is very clear that we’re suffering head trauma on a day-to-day basis whether it’s in practice or in a game. Being up-to-date with the best technology to protect our head and bodies is something that you have to do as a player.”
Do you think the Q-Collar will help prolong your career?
“I think it’s an absolute no-brainer that the Q-Collar will help me play longer. If you look at my position specifically as a Linebacker, there are so many micro and macro impacts that you’re taking on a day-to-day basis whether it’s in practice, in games, whether you’re striking Offensive Linemen or tackling ball carriers. The Q-Collar is a top-of-the-line technology that has clinically been proven to decrease your risk for brain injury. If you look at some of the injuries that end people’s career, they’re from head and neck trauma. The Q-Collar has already been tested and proven to decrease that, so I certainly feel more confident and comfortable when I’m out on the field.”
What would you say to a parent or an athlete who is considering purchasing a Q-Collar?
“I think what I’d say to a parent or athlete whose considering getting the Q-Collar is that you have to take your health into your own hands. For me, the Q-Collar gives me the confidence that I’m doing everything in my power and I’m doing the best that I can to protect my health and protect my brain. I think the Q-Collar can give parents the confidence that their kid can go out there and they’re in the best equipment to protect their kid’s head. I think it’s so important in whatever contact sport you’re playing. It’s been clinically proven to decrease head trauma. I think every player should wear it and I encourage every parent to have their kids wear one. Plus, let’s be honest, it’s a little bit swaggy.”
To hear more from Drue, check out this video.