Mizzell Has Plenty to Prove in Sophomore Season

After an injury slowed him for much of his freshman season in 2013, Virginia running back Taquan Mizzell is anxious to get back on the field for his sophomore season.

Mizzell, a five-star running back that earned the nickname 'smoke' for his elusive moves while at Bayside high school, came to Charlottesviile with high expectations.

As a freshman last year, he was injured in UVa's second game of the season. Mizzell finished the year with 184 rushing yards, 164 receiving yards, and 347 total yards on kick returns.

"Getting hurt the second game of the season, that was like really difficult for me," he said Friday. "Only being able to have one healthy game under my belt, I feel like nobody really knows what I can do yet, besides high school. I feel like I've got a lot to prove and a lot to show."

Mizzell will still be the backup to senior running back Kevin Parks, who eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in 2013. But the Cavaliers' coaching staff plans to use Smoke's skills in as many phases of the game as they can.

"I believe he's special," said head coach Mike London. "He will get every opportunity to help this team win. He's ready for the challenge, he ran track this spring. He's gotten faster, bigger, stronger. He, along with other players that are ready to produce now, will have the opportunity to get on the field and do that."

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