Virginia Tech cornerback Antone Exum tore his ACL on Saturday, just weeks after announcing his decision to forgo the NFL Draft and return for his senior season.
Exum, the MVP of the Russell Athletic Bowl, incurred the injury while playing pickup basketball in McComas Hall over the weekend.
The team’s official Twitter account released a statement at 7:14 p.m. Sunday evening:
“Hokies Antone Exum has suffered a tear of his R ACL and lateral meniscus; doctors hoping for surgery this wk; expected out 6-9 months.”
The second-team All-ACC standout led Tech with five interceptions last season, including two during clutch moments late-season against Virginia, then Rutgers.
He has accumulated 182 total tackles, 35 pass breakups and five forced fumbles during his time with the Hokies.
If Exum isn’t able to make a full recovery prior to the start of the 2013 season, the coaching staff has several options, primarily incoming five-star commit Kendall Fuller.
Fuller, the brother of current Hokies Kyle and Corey Fuller, is ranked the No. 2 cornerback in the nation — as well as the No. 9 overall prospect — by Rivals.com.
Outside of the youngest Fuller, the Hokies could look to freshmen Donaldven Manning and Donovan Riley, who picked up an interception apiece during their first seasons on the field and played 88 and 22 defensive snaps, respectively.