Throughout the first three games of the season, Kendall Fuller played through an unknown leg injury that he picked up during the first couple weeks of fall practice. Fuller’s health seemed to be improving each week with a good chance that maybe Fuller would be 100% soon.
However, Fuller was held out of the Hokies’ loss at East Carolina, but many saw that as partially due to the weather, but that did cause nerves to rise. Then, the Hokies announced that Fuller was going to have surgery on his leg injury, but coaches seemed to believe that Fuller would be back at some point in the not too distant future.
Those thoughts proved to be wrong when Virginia Tech made this announcement regarding Fuller.
Medical update on CB Kendall Fuller via Coach Beamer & Mike Goforth pic.twitter.com/vumPKl7D4d
— VT Football (@VT_Football) September 30, 2015
Kendall Fuller’s surgery on his torn meniscus has ended the season, but the Hokies should be able to get a medical redshirt for him. However, the biggest question regarding that situation will be whether Fuller comes back next season, which will depend on how much this injury affects his draft stock.
The fact that Fuller played through this injury in the first three games shows incredible toughness. However, you have to wonder if the Hokies should have shut him down before the season started and had him get surgery then instead of waiting till this point in the season.
This is a big loss for the Hokies with Terrell Edmunds set to take the starting spot of Fuller this week. However, expect this to be a fluid situation with Edmunds, Donovan Riley, and Mook Reynolds who had a quietly solid game against East Carolina.
None of those guys are going to be as good as Fuller, but Riley has a good reputation while Edmunds and Reynolds both have a lot of potential. It wouldn’t be surprising if Reynolds ends up as one of the two starting cornerbacks by the end of the season over Riley and Edmunds though Edmunds has de a tremendous rise this fall.
Brandon Facyson will take the job as the number 1 cornerback, and seems to be gaining more confidence with every week. Facyson will be tested this week against the best wide receiver in the ACC, Pittsburgh’s Tyler Boyd, and while many believe that Boyd will have a big game, don’t be surprised if Facyson slows him down at least a little.
The question that remains is how will this affect Fuller’s draft stock. If Fuller falls out of being a lock in the first round, I would expect that the Preseason All-American will be back in Blacksburg next year. However, there is a good possibility that Fuller could end up still being a consensus top-20 pick, and that may be tempting given the injury.
Kendall Fuller is a tough loss for the Hokies, and fans will have to wonder if we’ve seen him play in a Virginia Tech uniform for the last time or not. Replacing him will be very hard, and the Hokies have no replacement plan that will be on the same level as Fuller, but Virginia Tech’s defensive backs will have to step up now.
However, no one should count the Hokies out of the hunt in the ACC Coastal, especially with the improvements on the offensive side of the ball.