The play was a simple tackle in practice. On Sunday, freshman cornerback Brandon Facyson intercepted a pass thrown by senior quarterback Logan Thomas that was intended for freshman tight end Kalvin Cline.
As Facyson headed upfield, he was tackled from behind by Cline, who tried to also rip the ball loose. The two hit the ground, but Facyson's head whipped back and violently struck the ground. Facyson was dazed for a few moments before coming to, the result of a concussion.
That concussion has Facyson's status for Saturday's game against Duke up in the air. He went through an impact test before practice yesterday and is awaiting the results. With or without Facyson, the Hokies are ready to start an important stretch run. It's one that also might see the return of another cornerback, senior Antone Exum on Saturday.
Facyson said his condition is much better now, but there might not be a rush to bring him back, especially with Exum appearing to be ready to go.
"He's a great player, so I'm excited for him to come back," Facyson said." If that means taking time from me, then so be it. We're gonna do what's best for the team and I'm not a selfish person."
Exum's return has been arguably the biggest topic of conversation with the Hokies. Exum was cleared to play three weeks ago, but decided not to return until he felt he was in peak condition. When he does return, Virginia Tech had discussed playing Facyson some at wide receiver. But Facyson said yesterday he hasn't spent any time there in the past few weeks, even before the concussion.
The extra time though, has allowed Facyson to continue to grow, while allowing Exum to shake off the cobwebs.
"Each week, it gets better," defensive backs coach Torrian Gray said of Exum. "He's still gonna have some rust. He's gonna have some things in the games that's gonna happen for the first time. You go a couple weeks from now after he's shaken off some rust and gone through a game situation, he's still gonna be better at that point."
And Facyson said he's fine with whatever role is asked of him. He's just trying to get healthy first.
"It's nothing we can't get adjusted to," Facyson said. "We adjust really well. We kinda have to learn both spots, so it's nothing too bad. We're glad to have him back, so that's all that really matters."