The pool of players battling to be Virginia Tech cornerback Antone Exum’s early season replacement shrunk by one Sunday. According to Coach Frank Beamer’s official Web site, sophomore Donaldven Manning has transferred to another school.
The Miami native entered training camp last week as one of several players competing to start when the Hokies face two-time defending national champion Alabama on Aug. 31. But it seems the emergence of freshmen Kendall Fuller and Brandon Facyson convinced Manning he would not have a significant role with this year’s team.
Defensive coordinator Bud Foster said Saturday during Virginia Tech’s media day that Fuller and Facyson would likely see significant action against the Crimson Tide with Exum sidelined until at least the end of September as he continues to recover from offseason knee surgery.
Later in the day, a team official announced Manning was mulling his future with the program. Beamer said after the team’s practice on Saturday night that he planned to have another conversation with Manning on Sunday. It appears, however, that Manning had made up his mind.
Last season, Manning nearly left the team after he encountered a series of legal issues upon arriving on campus early for spring practice in 2012. But a series of discussions with Beamer and defensive backs coach Torrian Gray led to his return after a one-game suspension.
This past Wednesday, Manning reflected on how much he had grown from the experience and seemed optimistic about his future after bulking up to 181 pounds during the offseason.
“I was a young immature player and I just needed to find myself and being around Coach Beamer and Coach Gray, they helped me find myself and I just felt like I was ready to be a Hokie again,” Manning said.
A four-star recruit out of Miami Central High, Manning appeared in eight games last year and finished with four tackles and one interception.
In addition to Manning, Virginia Tech had already announced Saturday that offensive lineman Adam Taraschke, cornerback Davion Tookes and defensive lineman Jarontay Jones were leaving the program for various reasons.