Redshirt junior cornerback Casey Hughes announced via his Twitter account yesterday that he will be transferring from the Utah Utes football team for his final season of eligibility. Hughes received his degree and can graduate transfer, making him immediately eligible for his new team next season.
Utah will forever be family ✊️. pic.twitter.com/xE7cb3EVGJ— Hughdini (@CaseyLive24) January 10, 2018
After playing mostly on special teams to start his career, Hughes, one of the fastest players on the team, earned a starting cornerback role in 2017 following the departures of four starters in the secondary. Hughes, a North Las Vegas, Nev. native, recorded 35 tackles and one pass breakup and had two forced fumbles against the Arizona Wildcats that helped Utah secure that win in Tucson, Ariz.
Injuries limited Hughes to end the 2017 season. He missed the game against the Washington Huskies and had to leave the game against the Colorado Buffaloes due to injury, which also kept him out of the Heart of Dallas Bowl win over the West Virginia Mountaineers. Hughes also would have likely been facing stiff competition for playing time as a senior from Jaylon Johnson and Julian Blackmon, a second-team All-Pac-12 selection and Heart of Dallas Bowl MVP.
While losing Hughes is a blow, the Utah secondary that was so young in 2017 will be a year older and more experienced in 2018. Hughes certainly would have contributed for Utah in 2018, but it makes sense for him to seek a situation where he can maximize his playing time in his final season of college eligibility.