During earlier Wednesday afternoon's weekly ACC Fooball Coaches Teleconference, Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer stated that the team is considering shutting down sophomore cornerback Brandon Facyson.
Facyson's been struggling with a lingering knee injury from spring football but played in three of Virginia Tech's first four games. He started against William & Mary, finishing with three tackles and two pass breakups before adding three total tackles and three breakups over the Ohio State and East Carolina games.
During the press conference, Beamer said, " Well, we're trying to get him well, but if it doesn't come along, we're getting to a stage where we've got to determine do you play him or not play him and try to get a medical redshirt year. You know, he's not the same self."
In order to be eligible for a medical hardship, a student-athlete's injury must be incapacitating (e.g. it must be season-ending), it must occur prior to the start of the second half of the season, and the student-athlete must not have competed in more than 30% of the season or three games, whichever is greater. That means the clock is ticking for the Hokies, as they won't be able to push the decision much further beyond the North Carolina game. If Facyson appears in either of the next two contests, the possibility of an extra year of eligibility would hinge on appeal (which aren't typically ruled favorably).
"Out there in practice, he had a play and Bud Foster was right beside him, and he made a statement, he's just not running like he used to, and it's just true," Beamer added. "He wants to, he's trying to, but he just‑‑ it's not the same as last year."
Though losing the ACC all-third team corner would be no small loss for the Hokies, sophomore corner Kendall Fuller continues to perform at an extremely high level.
"Fuller has been I would say dynamic. He's been excellent. He knows how to play the game," Beamer added Wednesday. "He's got certainly great athletic ability, but he's a smart corner. I mean, he understands combination routes and so forth and what to expect. He does a good job before the ball is even snapped of figuring things out. We like him a lot. "
Beamer even light heartedly remarked he wished he wasn't the last of the storied family of Hokies. "I wish a few more Fullers were coming through here. That's the only thing that's disappointing is this is going to be the last one."
Donovan Riley is listed at the starting position opposite Fuller on the most recent depth chart for Virginia Tech's upcoming game against Western Michigan.