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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Exum is ready, but role uncertain

Virginia Tech senior cornerback Antone Exum has been cleared to play, which creates a dilemma for the Hokies. How do they work him into a crowded, talented defensive backfield?

Hokies defensive backs coach Torrian Gray said on the Tech Talk Live radio program Monday night that Exum met with Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla., and was given the green light to play this Saturday against North Carolina.

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.

With Exum out, the Hokies have gotten major contributions from true freshmen Brandon Facyson and Kendall Fuller.

Facyson is tied for the national lead with four interceptions. Fuller is tied for second on the team with two interceptions, and he is fifth with 20 tackles.

Despite the surplus of cornerbacks, Gray said he has no intention on moving Exum to safety, where he started his career. Exum moved to cornerback last season and earned second-team all-Atlantic Coast Conference honors.

“When he’s full-go, he’s going to play cornerback,” Gray said.

Thomas banged up

Senior quarterback Logan Thomas was dealing with multiple injuries during the Hokies’ 17–10 win at Georgia Tech last Thursday night.

Thomas told reporters after the game that he played with a painful abdominal strain, though it didn’t seem to hinder him in one of his best career passing performances.

Thomas was also playing on a sprained right foot. He showed up for a press conference Monday wearing a protective boot, but he insisted it was nothing to be worried about for this Saturday.

’s home game against North Carolina.

“It’s nothing really,” Thomas said.Thomas said he didn’t throw at all in practice last week while nursing the abdominal strain. He completed 19-of-25 passes and accounted for 279 total yards and both of the Hokies’ touchdowns  (one rushing and one passing).

Three Hokies honored

Three Hokies were honored Monday as ACC players of the week: senior guard Andrew Miller (offensive lineman), senior Derrick Hopkins (defensive lineman) and Facyson (co-rookie).

Miller posted 11 knockdown blocks in Thursday’s win at Georgia Tech. Hopkins led the Hokies with seven tackles and helped hold the Yellow Jackets to only 129 rushing yards. Facyson had a diving interception near the sideline and also recovered a key fumble in the first half.

Nathan Warters: 540/374-5442