With the return of All-ACC cornerback Antone Exum, Virginia Tech's defense was expected to be one of the best in the conference but that has taken a major hit.
The former Deep Run standout tore the ACL in the right knee over the weekend and will be out six to nine months.
Head athletic trainer Mike Goforth hopes surgery will take place as early as Thursday.
Exum suffered the injury while playing a pickup basketball game on campus.
A six month recovery would have him return to the Hokies in late July, prior to the team's fall practice in August. If it's nine months, Exum won't return until late September or early October.
Exum lead the ACC and was second in the nation with 21 passes defended and was tied for the league lead with five interceptions.