WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | Sports

'Smoke' Using Track to Improve Speed, Technique

As the Virginia football team's first five-star recruit in eight years, running back Taquan 'Smoke' Mizzell was surrounded by high expectations in his freshman season. He played in 10 games, but finished with just 184 yards on 45 carries.

"After my freshman year, it didn't go as I wanted it to or planned it to go due to injuries and other stuff," Mizzell said. "Right after my freshman year, I decided I want to get better now. Track season was happening now so I just thought it would be a great idea."

"That says a lot about him as a young man," UVa track coach Bryan Fezter says of Mizzell's decision to join the Cavaliers' track team. "He could just be going through a regular offseason of football. Not only is he going through a regular offseason of football, but he's also going through track practice."

Mizzell ran track in his senior year of high school, and when the opportunity came to join the UVa team, he saw a chance to improve his technique and get faster.

"I had to work on just about everything, between my arms, my legs, just about everything," he says.

"He's really learning how to accelerate, which should transfer over from how he gets from his stance to the hole and in the open field," added Fetzer.

The start of football season is still more than six months away, but when he takes the field, Smoke expects to be more elusive and harder to tackle than ever before.

"Well I got better so I'm going to say it's going to be pretty hard, because I've been working. I'm not the same person as I was in high school, I'm not the same person I was my freshman year. I feel faster, I feel quicker, I feel stronger. Everything just feels better all the way around the board."

The comments sections of Newsplex.com are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from our viewers, but we only ask that you use your best judgment. E-mail is required, but will not be displayed with comment.

  • Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. We will not post comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.
  • We will not post comments that use hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our website.
  • Comments should not attack other readers or people featured in our stories personally. Any accusations should be backed up with facts.
  • Any comment we post will be posted in its entirety. We do not edit any comment that we post.
  • Comments should contribute to the discussion. We will not post comments that don't advance the discussion. Flaming and/or trolling will not be tolerated.
  • Comments should not attack other posters. Let's keep the focus on the content of the story.

    As a host Newsplex.com welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However this is a site that we host. We have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason The Newsplex reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.

    If you have any ideas to improve the conversation or this section let us know. Send an e-mail to webmaster@newsplex.com.


powered by Disqus
The Charlottesville Newsplex 999 2nd Street S.E. Charlottesville, VA 22902 434.242.1919 – Main 434.220.7522 - Newsroom
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 247349481