Two days into his college football career, and Virginia running back Taquan "Smoke" Mizzell is living up to his nickname, according to coach Mike London.
"He ran pretty well," London said with a smirk before the Cavaliers' second practice of the summer on Tuesday.
It's been about a year since Mizzell brought a bigger smile to London's face. Mizzell committed to UVa last summer, becoming the program's first five-star recruit since Eugene Monroe in 2005.
Mizzell has spent his first two days splitting time between the second- and third-team offense in drills, and fielding punts during special teams practice. The Bayside High School product was asked after Monday's practice about the best part of starting his college career.
"Just getting out here," Mizzell said. "Getting a couple carries, catching punts. Just touching the football, period."
"I've been conditioning all in the summertime, for a long time. Now I finally got out here, I feel great."
Mizzell ran for 1,231 yards and 31 touchdowns as a senior at Bayside in 2012. He also added five receiving touchdowns, two on punt returns, and another on a kickoff return.
"He's a very talented young man. And now he'll get a chance to get out here and do his thing," London said Monday. "We're going to try to get him infused into our offense and our special teams, early on. And it's our job to make sure that we find things for him to do, to use that type of talent."