February 4, 2013

Meet the Recruit: Taquan Mizzell

Taquan Mizzell (TAY-kwan MY-zell), also known as "Smoke," should be familiar to most of our readers, as he's the most-hyped recruit of this year's class. Coming out of UVA's pipeline at Bayside High School in Virginia Beach, Smoke is a high-four or five star player, depending on the rankings, and one of the most dynamic all-purpose backs in the country. Recently he's been in the news for a harmless run-in with the CPD, but few non-Hokies would consider him anything but someone with a good head on his shoulders. Smoke pulled off a highlight reel kick return in this year's Army All American Bowl and should immediately impact the big-play ability of UVA's roster. Check his senior year highlights here:

UVA Projection: While next year's team still has plenty of talent at RB in Parks, Richardson, and Shepherd, I would be shocked if Smoke is not starting game one as a returner and factors in a big way on offense throughout the season. In fact, at the Army AA game, Mizzell practiced all week as a wide receiver, essentially because he can. He's got great speed and vision, as well as exceptional hands, so look for him to continue the UVA trend of running backs catching short passes for big gains (hello, Alvin Pearman). Slot. Backfield. Returning kicks. UVA fans and opposing teams should get used to seeing a lot of Smoke, and soon.

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