Junior-college transfer Britto Tutt is out for the year with a torn ACL.
FAYETTEVILLE - One of the most promisingly deep positions on the Arkansas football roster has seen its depth take a serious blow the last few days.
Cornerback Britto Tutt, a junior-college transfer from Ventura College, had worked himself into the top outside back-up job on the team with his play during fall camp. Now he will miss the entire 2016 season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament during practice yesterday.
The news comes one day after coach Bret Bielema announced DJ Dean, a two-year starter at cornerback, would miss a few weeks with a hamstring injury. Dean had lost his job as starter during fall camp, partly because of rustiness carried over from a toe injury he had in the spring. He missed most of the spring dealing with it and hadn't returned to form quite yet before the hamstring issue. Tutt had, actually, leaped him on the depth chart as the top option on the outside.
"With DJ and (Tutt) we were rolling with six guys and very happy with that," defensive backs coach Paul Rhoads said. "But we play three at a time most of the time with our nickel packages. Now we're down to four and adding in some other guys and teaching them and getting them reps."
Tutt's injury is likely to affect the decision as to whether Dean, a senior, would redshirt. Bielema said Wednesday he had offered that possibility to Dean as it appeared the senior would find himself lower on the depth chart than hoped. Other than floating the idea, though, nothing had come of it as of Wednesday.
Now the Arkansas depth chart appears to be Jared Collins, Henre' Toliver and Kevin Richardson (slot) as the starting three cornerbacks, with Ryan Pulley, Byron Keaton and Cornelius Floyd the next three reserves. Keaton is a walk-on from North Little Rock and Floyd played in one game last year, against Tennessee-Martin.
"We have still got four healthy corners with Collins and Toliver and Pulley and Richardson, so it’s not like we are in a panic here," Rhoads said. "But we are down two good football players right now, one for the year and one for a small amount of time."
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