Exum decision Thurs.; Facyson to WR

Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said the staff is still unsure whether or not cornerback Antone Exum will play on Saturday against North Carolina, but that the decision should be made following Thursday’s practice.

It was announced on Tuesday that Exum has been cleared to practice again following an eight-month rehab on his torn right ACL. Tuesday was Exum’s first practice since he injured his knee playing in a pick-up game of basketball last January.

“We don’t know,” Beamer said of Exum’s status for Saturday. “I thought he moved well yesterday. Today is another big work day for us. After Thursday’s practice, we’ll determine by talking with him and with the coaching staff where he is exactly and so forth. [Brandon] Facyson has done such a good job for us that certainly having him there is a big, big positive. We’re fortunate to get Exum back, and we’ve added some depth to our secondary, and another good player to go with some guys who are really playing well.”

Should Exum return to the starting lineup, Virginia Tech will be forced to find a spot for Facyson, who has been one of the top rookies in the country. Facyson is tied for first in the ACC with seven passes defended and leads the league with four interceptions. Beamer said Facyson is starting to get reps at wide receiver this week -- a role that will increase this season.

“We’ve talked about it before,” Beamer said. “We talked about it over the summer. When this came up that Exum could possibly come back, the main thing is you want to get your best players on the field. That’s what we’re trying to do.”