Former Utes starting cornerback Casey Hughes set to transfer to Michigan

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Utes defensive back Casey Hughes (25) celebrates after sacking Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Tanner Mangum (12), in football action BYU vs Utah, at Lavell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Saturday, September 9, 2017.

Former Utah starting cornerback Casey Hughes has found a new home, and it will be in the Big Ten Conference.

Hughes, who announced last week that he would seek a graduate transfer for his final season of eligibility, posted via Twitter on Sunday afternoon that he’ll play for the University of Michigan.

“It’s a blessing to say that I’ll be finishing my last collegiate season at the University of Michigan,” Hughes posted with a picture of him wearing a Wolverines jersey. “I want to thank the entire Michigan coaching staff for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to join their program.”

Hughes, a redshirt junior who started 11 games this past season, played mostly on special teams until earning a starting spot this past season. He finished the season with two forced fumbles (both against Arizona), 35 tackles and one pass breakup.

Hughes did not play against Washington due to injury and had to leave the regular-season finale against Colorado after trying to play through injury. He did not play in the Utes’ Heart of Dallas Bowl win against West Virginia.

Hughes, a resident of North Las Vegas, Nev., figured to be pushed for the starting job this coming season by returners Julian Blackmon and Jaylon Johnson. Last week, the Utes signed Vonte Davis, a junior college transfer from Blinn College.

Davis earned second-team National Junior College All-American honors, and he’ll transfer in as a sophomore with three remaining years of eligibility.

Blackmon, a sophomore from Layton, earned second-team All Pac-12 honors and was named MVP of the Heart of Dallas Bowl. He intercepted four passes this season, including two in the bowl game.

Johnson, a four-star recruit and one of the top cornerbacks in the country coming out of high school last year, played in 12 games (two starts) before suffering an injury that required surgery before the final game of the regular season. Johnson tied for the team lead with six pass breakups and was second with seven passes defended.

Michigan started a pair of sophomores at the cornerback positions most of last season in Lavert Hill and David Long.