Exum’s Injury a Blow for the Hokies

Virginia Tech suffered a major blow over the weekend when it was announced that cornerback Antone Exum suffered a torn ACL and will be out six to nine months.  What does that mean for the Hokies and Exum?  Read on.

Before we get into specifics, allow me to say a few words about Exum.  I was defensive (perhaps overly so) of the criticism he received during the middle of the season.  Looking at the boards back then, or just listening to people talk about Blacksburg, the words “sucks” or “terrible” were thrown around a lot when people were talking about Exum, and that was completely unfair.

Jaymes Gayle, Bruce Taylor, Chase Williams and Antone Exum joke around on the sidelines during the August 18, 2012 football scrimmage in Lane Stadium.  Click for larger image.

Antone Exum is a team player.  After redshirting in 2009, he played the whip/nickel spot in 2010.  In 2011, he played rover and free safety.  In 2012, he played boundary corner and field corner.  That’s five different positions, with five different sets of responsibilities, over a three year span.  He’s never had a chance to sit at one position and develop.  That’s hurt him as a player, but it’s been necessary for the team.  Exum has met every position change with willingness and a smiling face.  He’s sacrificed a lot to make the team better.

He’s also the last guy to deserve a torn ACL, particularly at this point in his career.  He’s a team leader, he’s a good person, and everything he does is with the team in mind.  Here’s hoping for a speedy and successful recovery.