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Hokies could be without pair of experienced corners for Terps game

Antone Exum, Jela Duncan AP

The status of two of Virginia Tech’s veteran cornerbacks for the Maryland game is up in the air, including one who had fought his way back to the playing from a serious offseason injury.

Both Antone Exum and Kyle Fuller are dealing with injuries ahead of the Terps, the former with a fresh ankle injury and the latter with a lingering groin strain.  The pair’s position coach didn’t sound optimistic Monday about either senior’s availability.

“Right now, the way things are standing, it’s not looking like we’re going to have certain guys,” defensive backs coach Torrian Gray said according to the Roanoke Times.

The absence of Exum, especially on Senior Day in Blacksburg, would be particularly disheartening.

Exum has spent the eight months recovering from a torn ACL he suffered during a January pickup basketball game, but was medically cleared late last month.  After initial signs pointed to him returning for the Oct. 5 game against North Carolina, Exum decided to give himself another week to heal.  That week bled into the next game against Pittsburgh.

While he returned for the Oct. 26 loss to Duke, Exum injured his ankle in the win over Miami this past weekend.

Fuller strained his groin during the mid-October bye week and has been limited ever since, although he’s played in every game.  Fuller, who started the first seven games before giving way to both his injury and Exum in the starting lineup, entered the Hurricanes game leading the ACC in passes defended (12) and passes broken up (10).

The good news for the Hokies is that, because of the injury issues at the position, Kendall Fuller and Brandon Facyson have emerged as promising and productive players at the front-end of the secondary.  The freshmen have combined for nine interceptions this season, with Fuller tied for ninth nationally in interceptions per game and Facyson tied for 14th.

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