Another week, time for another important off-season question.
All of us were shocked and saddened by the news of Antone Exum's injury just a few weeks ago, as he had become a vocal leader in the #BEATBAMA campaign. His tweets about preparing for August 31st had everyone in Hokie Nation pumped up enough that they themselves were ready to go out and hit somebody... and it was only January.
But now a predicament faces our team and our defense, specifically the secondary. Who can replace Exum if he can't start against Alabama? Although he had his moments where he was in the wrong place at the wrong time last season, Mr. Swag grew into one of the ACC's shutdown corners by season's end. And while vocal leadership such as Antone's can still be effective from the bench and in the locker room, it's much better to have that leadership on the field.
Last season, it was mostly Antone Exum and Kyle Fuller playing the corner positions for the Lunchpail D. Rarely did we see Donaldven Manning or Donovan Riley step in and get any reps. When he did get some playing time, Manning made plays. But is it really safe to say that he should be the one to step in to cover Exum's side of the turf?
On the other side of the coin, there's two fresh bodies coming to campus this season in the shape of Cequan Jefferson and Kendall Fuller. I don't think I need to tell you how good these guys are. Fuller is a five-star, Army All-American, all-around player from one of the top high school football teams in the nation. Jefferson was a relative unknown until TKP's own French on the Bench series gave a remarkable Recruiting Review write-up on him. Even though he's a bit under-sized, the kid can play.
The question to you, the reader -- which one of these players can fill the void if Exum can't play? Even if he's not 100%, who splits time with him? Will it be Riley or Manning, with a year under their belts? Or will it be a newcomer, Fuller or Jefferson?
Hope you enjoyed the post, and all opinions are welcome!