The freshman will start at field cornerback ahead of senior Antone Exum against North Carolina this Saturday.
The Virginia Tech football Twitter account put out the news Thursday afternoon. Kyle Fuller will start at boundary corner, with Kendall Fuller at nickel. Exum will play, but how much is still to be determined.
Coaches have said all week that they wanted to see how Exum would perform in practice after the senior was cleared to play earlier this week. He’s been out the last eight months following surgery on his right knee to repair the ACL, lateral and medial meniscus and a bone fracture.
What to do with Facyson and Exum has been a point of contention all week among Hokies fans. Facyson, though only a true freshman, has played at an extremely high level the first few weeks, tied for the national lead with four interceptions.
Defensive backs coach Torrian Gray said Exum would regain his starting spot upon returning if he was 100 percent. Thursday’s news suggests the cornerback is not quite there yet, something Gray acknowledged earlier this week could be the case.
“We’re looking at the North Carolina game last year and you see Antone make some unbelievable plays,” Gray said. “Right now, he’s probably going to be a week or so away or maybe a couple weeks before we see that kind of Antone. But he’s working himself in.”
Defensive coordinator Bud Foster said last night that it could be a situation where the Hokies go with whoever is playing better.
“Whoever the hot guy is, you want to keep going with him,” he said.
UPDATE: Exum’s role sounds very limited based on this:
Coach Beamer said that Exum will "make some spot appearances" in Saturdays game.— Beamer Ball (@Beamer_Ball) October 3, 2013