Chase Dutra has spent the last few months — without an Indiana offer — building a relationship with IU’s coaching staff and players. He’s attended a junior day, team camps and practices, all trying to get comfortable with the in-state program, so that if an offer were to come, nothing about Indiana would be new.
So when that offer did come, Dutra didn’t need much time making up his mind.
“It wasn’t anything new. I already felt confident with the people I was around,” Dutra said. “When I got the offer, I knew it as where I wanted to be.”
A three-star athlete out of Brownsburg (Ind.) High School, Dutra brings positional flexibility to the table for the Hoosiers in 2013. He plays at safety and wide receiver for the Bulldogs, and if he packs more weight onto his 6-foot-2, 195-pound frame, Dutra might get a look at linebacker as well.
“They have me strictly at athlete, because I don’t know what I’d be doing when I get there,” Dutra said. He chose Indiana over offers from Indiana State and Western Michigan, and interest from a host of Midwest programs.
Last season for the Bulldogs, Dutra posted 750 rushing yards on 66 attempts, and he pulled in 16 receptions for 390 yards. He had four receiving touchdowns and 18 rushing touchdowns for Brownsburg, which runs an option-based offense. He was also a standout at safety for the Indianapolis-area program as well.
Dutra has hardly been a stranger in Bloomington in recent months. He attended a junior day at the end of January, and he spent several days on campus in June, when Brownsburg made it down for one of Indiana’s team camps.
A three-star prospect with an overall rating of 81, according to 247Sports, Dutra is the No. 20 player in the state of Indiana. He joins in-state prospects Antonio Allen and Isaac Griffith in having pledged to IU as part of the Hoosiers’ most recent class, and he said all three players will spend the next few months bending the ears of some of the state’s top talent, trying to persuade them to join up as well.
“I feel like we might be able to possibly switch around a couple commits,” Dutra said.
Brownsburg opens its 2012 campaign Friday night with a trip to McCutcheon. Dutra will be a key player in any postseason run the Bulldogs can put together, and as such, he said it’s good to have his commitment out of the way and off his mind, so he can focus solely on his senior season.
Dutra said his attention will stay with Brownsburg until his senior season is complete, and that he will trust Bulldogs coach Brett Comer to prepare him thoroughly for the next step in his career.
“He’s helped me through the last four years to be the person I am,” Dutra said.
Physically, the time between now and next summer, when he arrives on campus, will be crucial for Dutra, because he doesn’t yet know what position he’ll play. Like, for example, fellow 2013 commit Patrick Dougherty, the way Dutra’s body fills out as he gets stronger will determine his college position.
Quarterbacks/wide receivers coach Kevin Johns, safeties coach Doug Mallory and linebackers coach Mike Ekeler will all cast an eye over his progress. Wilson told Dutra he will also be expected to contribute on special teams as well.
Where on the field he lands doesn’t make much difference to the three-star athlete.
“I really don’t have a preference on what I want to play,” he said. “I feel like I’ll be fine wherever I go.”