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He's been held off of the field since he tore his right ACL and meniscus in January playing pick-up basketball. And as far as Virginia Tech is concerned, senior cornerback Antone Exum is the still the same all-ACC cornerback.
Yesterday, Exum was cleared to play this Saturday by Dr. James Andrews, who performed Exum's surgery. And the Hokies are making a few changes to an already potent secondary to make room for his return, against North Carolina.
Today, coach Frank Beamer announced on his website that freshman Brandon Facyson, who is tied for the FBS lead in interceptions, with four, will be playing some wide receiver.
"I think there's very few guys that play both offense and defense. I think Brandon's one of those guys," Beamer said. "Now that Antone's back, it allows us to get him in there and work some offensive plays. He's been exceptional on defense, showed great hands. A couple of interceptions, he's made fantastic catches. He's long, he's fast, he's smart and I think he can really help us on offense."
Exum was back at practice today for the first time all year. He showed a bit of rust, but still worked with Virginia Tech's first team and showed Beamer enough to validate his decision.
"We've gotta wait til the end of this week and see how we're feeling Antone is…He's gonna practice a little bit offensively this week, Facyson," Beamer said. "But he's gonna get his reps in on defense too, because I'm not sure, anytime you missed all of pre-season, the first games and then you come back, a tough game against a tough opponent. We've gotta make sure he's ready to go."
At yesterday's weekly Hokies press conference, Facyson said he was willing to do whatever asked of him to help the team. Beamer thinks the same.
"He's eager and he wants to do whatever he can to help the football team," Beamer said. "But it's really, not many guys, when you think about it, have the ability to work both sides of the ball."