Written By Evan McShane (@very_reasonable)
Chase Dutra, Safety, Detroit Lions Mini-Camp
Chase Dutra came to Indiana University as a talented recruit with a lot to prove in 2013. Now he’s headed to Detroit thanks to a mini-camp invitation from the Lions. Dutra’s long journey and hard work has earned him a chance to make a career for himself in the NFL. After a decorated football career for Brownsburg High School in Indiana, Dutra committed to play football for the Hoosiers. He was poised to contribute in a big way after redshirting his first year at IU.
He stepped up and played in all twelve games as a redshirt freshman. Dutra made an instant impact. He racked up 34 tackles, forced a fumble, and had three interceptions. His three interceptions were tied for most on the team and tied for the most by a Big Ten freshmen that season. He also finished second among Big Ten freshmen in pass breakups. As a redshirt sophomore, Dutra’s growth was unfortunately hindered by injury. He started in only seven games, but he made the most of those starts. Despite missing time, he still finished fifth on the team in tackles with 61.
Always a leader in the secondary, Dutra looked to take a leap as an upperclassman. As a redshirt junior, Dutra played in ten games and made 46 tackles. Dutra stepped up in the biggest games of the year, forcing a fumble against Ohio State and recovering a fumble in the Foster Farms Bowl. He proved to have a serious nose for the ball. Against a top-ten Nebraska team, Dutra blocked a punt which was recovered for a safety. Dutra was a key cog in head coach Tom Allen’s complete turnaround of Indiana’s defense and special teams.
Dutra’s senior season was one for the memory bank. He consistently managed to be in the right place at the right time. Dutra led the team in tackles with an impressive 96 total and 65 solo. His 96 tackles were 9th in the Big Ten. He forced a fumble, recovered a fumble, and started all 12 games. Dutra was an anchor on an Indiana defense that remarkably continued to improve. Year after year, Dutra showed something new. He constantly evolved throughout his career at Indiana. He was an honorable mention for the All-Big Ten Team. He was IU’s special teams player of the year. Dutra finished his Hoosier career with 237 tackles, three interceptions, and four forced fumbles.
Dutra’s playmaking ability and versatility earned him Big Ten scholarship offers in high school. Now those same skills are helping him build a case as an NFL prospect. Dutra logged some successful numbers at Indiana’s Pro Day in April. After going undrafted, the Detroit Lions invited Chase Dutra to participate in their mini-camp.