Hokies Football Preview: Kendall Fuller, Brandon Facyson and Virginia Tech’s Talented Cornerbacks

Our position-by-position preview of the 2015 Virginia Tech Hokies continues as we look at the Virginia Tech cornerbacks. Bud Foster and Torrian Gray have built Virginia Tech into “DBU” with plenty of tremendous cornerbacks coming through the program and more currently on this team.

For this depth chart, we will have one general cornerback depth chart with the starters being set in pairs followed by the second team guys and so forth with the number 3 cornerback being the Hokies’ nickel cornerback.

There is a good chance Donovan Riley moves back to cornerback, but we will not include him at this time in our cornerback depth chart. Meanwhile, Adonis Alexander seems like he may move back to rover at some point, but may be used some in a nickel cornerback role this fall.

Reports are also circulating about Shawn Payne transferring so he will not be included on this depth chart unless those reports are proven false.

Early Fall CB Depth Chart

  1. Kendall Fuller
  2. Brandon Facyson
  3. Greg Stroman
  4. Mook Reynolds
  5. Adonis Alexander
  6. DuWayne Johnson
  7. Curtis Williams
  8. Erikk Banks

Kendall Fuller is on a course to become the greatest cornerback to every play for the Virginia Tech Hokies after having two tremendous in which he started 25 of 26 games.  In 2013, Fuller broke out with 58 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 0.5 sacks, 6 interceptions, 1 forced fumble, and 11 pass breakups on the way to earning Freshman All-American and All-ACC Second Team honors.

Despite playing with a fractured wrist, Fuller was even better with 54 tackles, 4.5 total tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 2 interceptions, and 15 pass breakups on the way to earning All-ACC First Team and Second Team All-American honors.

Entering 2015, Fuller has earned Preseason All-American and All-ACC honors as one of the top three defensive backs in college football along with Florida State’s Jalen Ramsey and Florida’s Vernon Hargreaves. Fuller also has the potential to become the Hokies’ first Jim Thorpe Award winner, which would help his case to be the greatest VT defensive back.

Fuller is an elite man-to-man coverage cornerback that could most wide receivers on an island when they go against him. Opposing offensive coordinators have to find ways to get their top wide receivers open by getting Fuller to cover someone else.

Fuller not only is an elite talent, but he also has the type of elite hard-working style that every coach dreams of having in a player of Fuller’s talent. Fuller is likely headed for a top-15 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft as long as he stays healthy and plays as well as most expect him to.

Kendall Fuller is going to go down as one of the greatest defensive players in Virginia Tech history, and seems set for a big junior season. Fuller also will be able to form the best cornerback duo in college football with a now healthy Brandon Facyson.

Facyson was impressive in 2013 as one of the top 3 freshman cornerbacks with Fuller and Vernon Hargreaves as the Georgia native had 27 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 5 interceptions, 1 forced fumble, and 8 pass breakups. Facyson started nine games and played in three others on his way to earning All-ACC Third Team honors.

Facyson, Fuller, and Hargreaves seemed to be the big three star cornerbacks that would all have good chances at being 2016 NFL Draft first round picks.

However, injuries derailed Facyson early in the 2014 season as it was clear that he was not healthy due to a shin injury, and it was hurting his play significantly. Then, Facyson suffered a broken leg in December to complete an injury-riddled 2014 season, but Facyson was able to received a medical redshirt.

Now, Facyson is healthy and coaches are saying that he is athletically as good as he was in 2013. Facyson has always had great size, and not only is a very good ball hawker, but also has great ball skills and body control to go up in the air and either break up the pass or make the interception.

Facyson’s skill make him very effective in zone coverage, but Facyson also profiles as a quality man-to-man cornerback when he is healthy unlike he was against Cam Worthy and East Carolina last season. Now that Facyson is healthy, he is ready to be one of the top 8 to 10 cornerbacks in all of college football this season.

Right now, Greg Stroman seems in line to be the nickel cornerback though Donovan Riley has the talent to take that job back if the Hokies move him back to cornerback. Stroman proved to be a talented punt returner last season, but also showed some potential with the few snaps that he received at cornerback.

During the spring, Stroman showed that he has the talent and upside to be a quality starting cornerback for the Hokies with a lot of awareness along with having the speed to stay up with most wide receivers. Stroman has a bright future and is also ready to make an impact in 2015 in more ways than just as a punt returner.

However, Stroman may get passed on the depth chart by Mook Reynolds who showed this spring that he has the talent and upside to be an All-ACC cornerback down the road. Reynolds’s spring arrival has allowed him to fight to earn some significant playing time this fall as one of the backup cornerbacks for the Hokies along with being used as the nickel cornerback potentially.

Reynolds has already shown the necessary man coverage skills to earn playing time early in Bud Foster’s system while also showing some very good athleticism that has made him the backup punt returner behind Stroman. Reynolds and Stroman will both have bigger roles in the secondary in the future, but both are ready to do some damage this fall.

However, Donovan Riley could also take some playing time from Reynolds and Stroman if he moves back to cornerback.

Adonis Alexander showed his tremendous athleticism this spring and is still at cornerback for now though the Hokies are using him all over the secondary. Alexander is unlikely to earn the starting rover job, but he is the future at the rover position with C.J. Reavis no longer with the Hokies.

DuWayne Johnson has great size and big upside, but seems likely to be redshirted especially if Riley moves back to cornerback. Curtis Williams and Erikk Banks are the two walk-on cornerbacks that round out the depth chart.

Projected CB Depth Chart vs. OSU

  1. Kendall Fuller
  2. Brandon Facyson
  3. Mook Reynolds
  4. Greg Stroman
  5. Adonis Alexander
  6. DuWayne Johnson
  7. Curtis Williams
  8. Erikk Banks

Mook Reynolds is extremely talented, and he can definitely move ahead of Greg Stroman on this depth chart especially with Stroman also spending some time at wide receiver early in fall practice. However, Donovan Riley should be the nickel cornerback if he does not stay at rover and moves back to cornerback.

The Hokies are once again very talented at cornerback led by the best cornerback duo in college football, Kendall Fuller and Brandon Facyson.

Check out the rest of our 2015 Virginia Tech Football Preview right here.


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