Earlier this month, Antone Exum announced that he would be foregoing early entry into the NFL draft and returning to Virginia Tech for another year.
Sadly, especially for a young man known for classy gestures off the field, his return to on-the-field action in 2013 is very much up in the air.
The Hokies announced Sunday evening that Exum has suffered a torn ACL and torn lateral meniscus in his right knee. Team doctors are hopeful that surgery to repair the damage will be performed this week, although the amount of swelling in the area will determine a surgical timeline.
There was no confirmation as to how the cornerback sustained the injury, although speculation has been swirling that it occurred during a pickup basketball game.
According to the school, Exum is expected to be out for a period of six-nine months. The optimistic end of that prognosis would have Exum back in time for the start of summer camp; the back end would have him missing the first two months of the upcoming season.
If Exum were to miss any playing time, it would be a significant blow for Tech’s defense. Following a season in which he totaled five interceptions, 16 pass breakups and two forced fumbles, Exum was named second-team All-ACC.
The senior-to-be has started every game, 27 in all, the past two seasons. He started five games as a redshirt freshman in 2010 as well.
Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.
Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.
“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”
Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah