With the recent news that injured Virginia Tech cornerback Antone Exum won’t be available for the start of the season, talented true freshman Kendall Fuller will likely get a chance to play early. Exum had hoped to return in time for the season opener against Alabama, but after visiting Dr. James Andrews, learned that he was still about two months away from playing.
That’s a huge blow to a Virginia Tech team that has aspirations of climbing back to the top of the ACC in 2013. A year ago, Exum led the Hokies with five interceptions, was named second team All-ACC and won MVP in their bowl victory over Rutgers. His loss leaves a massive void in the Hokies secondary to start the season.
However, his absence does open the door for one of the more high-profile signees that Virginia Tech has had in years, Kendall Fuller.
Fuller was rated as a five-star cornerback by Rivals coming out of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Maryland last year. The 5-foot-11, 190 pounder might be too talented to keep on the sidelines for long. He’s a long, wiry corner who will thrive in both man and zone schemes at the collegiate level. He has excellent range with the ball in the air and has shown outstanding ball skills while in coverage.
Unlike some corners, Fuller is a willing tackler and will need to be to crack the rotation for defensive coordinator Bud Foster. He has nice closing speed against both the run and the pass as well.
It’s hard to earn playing time as a true freshman, but one of the positions it’s possible is corner. The position is so reliant on pure athleticism that young players can get on the field quite often. Obviously, there are schemes that Fuller will have to learn, but if he shows he can cover, he’ll be on the field in September.
Eventually, Exum will be back on the field, but for the time being, keep an eye out for the super-talented Fuller.