Utah’s secondary could be about to receive some relief, as a familiar face could soon be stepping back on the field. Utes coach Kyle Whittingham announced yesterday that cornerback Dominique Hatfield had been reinstated to the team, but that there was no timetable for his return to actual games. Whittingham’s announcement was reported by Kevin McGuire of NBC Sports’ College Football Talk.
”It was our belief, in fairness, he was deserving to be able to be reinstated back onto the football team,” Whittingham said of welcoming Hatfield back to the program.
A junior, Hatfield had been on indefinite suspension after being charged with felony robbery and misdemeanor theft following his allegedly robbing a man at knifepoint. Those charges were later dropped, but Hatfield could still face trial on an assault charge stemming from a fight at a party in July. Hatfield has pleaded not guilty and a hearing is set to take place later this month.
In 13 games last year, Hatfield posted 38 tackles and an interception while breaking up seven passes. He originally came to school as a receiver and adjusted to his new position almost flawlessly. Just when he’ll play again remains to be seen, but there’s no doubt that Utah would welcome his presence back in the secondary.
”If he’s ready this week, he’ll play,” Whittingham said. ”If he’s not, it could be something like three weeks.”
Utah takes on in-state rival Utah State at home on Friday.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports