Getting the gang back together
Perhaps for the first time this season, Virginia Tech’s enormously talented cornerbacks unit will all be healthy and playing in the same game.
Just as Antone Exum rejoined the secondary against Duke, the Hokies lost senior Kyle Fuller and true freshman Brandon Facyson.
Fuller — recently named a semifinalist for both the Chuck Bednarik Award, given to the nation’s most outstanding defensive player, and the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the country’s best defensive back — was limited to special teams in the loss to Duke after suffering a groin injury, but practiced at close to full speed Tuesday.
Facyson missed the whole week of practice leading up to the Duke game after suffering a concussion from banging the back of his head against the ground during a practice. He was in a blue, limited contact jersey Tuesday, but practiced unrestricted Wednesday. He feels he is making positive progress from where he was a week ago.
“I think the first day, (team doctors) asked me what day it was, and I didn’t know until the next day I was three days off.” Facyson said. “I feel good — no headaches, no anything like that, so I’m going to check with the doctor today and see about getting cleared tomorrow.”
In Facyson and Fuller’s absence, Kendall Fuller, another standout true freshman cornerback, recorded three interceptions to put him in a tie for the most in the nation.
If the Hokies do have the four cornerbacks all healthy and ready to play, the decision falls upon secondary coach Torrian Gray to figure out how to distribute the playing time. Until he knows more about the status of his players, though, he’s not focusing on that.
“The beautiful thing is you’ve got all these talented guys and the difficult part is obviously playing them all. But right now Kyle’s not 100 percent, Brandon’s been out,” Gray said. “So I’m not sure how healthy everybody is yet.”