BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Virginia Tech senior cornerback Antone Exum has been cleared to play this week against North Carolina. Now the Hokies must figure out how to work him back into a defensive backfield, which has become increasingly more crowded since he was injured.
Virginia Tech defensive backs coach Torrian Gray said Monday on the team's weekly radio program that Exum met with Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla., earlier in the day and was given the green light to return to action.
But that doesn't necessarily mean he will be back in the starting lineup this week after missing the entire offseason and the first five games of 2013 with a torn ACL in his right knee.
"I think with his injury, and what he's coming off of, he has to be eased in naturally, so there will be some transition with that," Gray said. "But we'll kind of evaluate him during the week and see how it goes and we'll determine it from there."
With Exum out, the Hokies had major contributions from true freshmen Brandon Facyson and Kendall Fuller. Facyson, who shared ACC top rookie honors this week, is tied for the national lead with four interceptions.
Fuller, meanwhile, is tied for second on the team with two interceptions, and he is fifth on the team with 20 tackles.
Despite the surplus of options at cornerback, Gray said he has no intention to move Exum to safety, where he started his career. Exum moved to cornerback full time last season and earned second-team All-ACC honors.
"When he's full-go, he's going to play cornerback," Gray said.