Virginia Tech Hokies star cornerback Antone Exum was medically cleared to face the North Carolina Tar Heels this week, and it seemed like the Hokies would be getting Exum back against struggling UNC star QB Bryn Renner and the rest of the Tar Heels. However, Virginia Tech beat writer Andy Bitter tweeted out that Antone Exum has decided that he will not “dress” for tomorrow afternoon’s game.
It’s easy to give Exum flak for deciding to sit himself out for this week’s game, but the All-ACC talent is still recovering from an ACL he tore in the early offseason. Bitter stated in the tweet above that Exum must have felt that his knee is not feeling “right”, and that has to be the case at this point. While it is uncommon to see a player decide not to play after being medically cleared, this development means that there has to be something up with Exum.
Virginia Tech is 4-1 now following three close victories over East Carolina, Marshall (it took them three overtimes), and Georgia Tech, and they’ve been doing it by playing some tough defense. A home game against the 1-3 Tar Heels should be a victory for VT, but they could have some big issues next week against the Pittsburgh Panthers, especially if Antone Exum isn’t available to help contain top Pitt wide receiver duo Devin Street and Tyler Boyd.
Exum was among college football’s most dangerous DBs last season with five picks and a whopping 21 passes defended, and interim replacement Brandon Facyson has picked up right where Exum left off on the playmaking front with four interceptions of his own already this season.