12 May 2012
West Virginia University has long been known to have some serious speed in the backfield. Names like Steve Slaton, Amos Zereoue, and Noel Devine come to mind. Now WVU is back on the trail looking for its next speedster in this offense. Maybe you have heard of him, his name is Taquan Mizzell.
Mizzell is the 87th ranked player in the class of 2013 according to Rivals.com and is one of the more highly sought after running backs in the nation. The 5 foot 10 and 180 pound back, who is nicknamed "Smoke", has been clocked in the 4.4's in the 40-yard dash. Not to mention he is on the Rivals 100 list.
Despite being injured during his junior season, Mizzell still managed to rush for over 1,000 yards and added 22 touchdowns, but he wants more for himself and his Riverside High (Va) teammates.
When you ask Mizzell what he brings to the table, he talks about his vision and the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. In Dana Holgorsen’s high powered offense, these traits are a high commodity. Mizzell is a versatile, do-everything kind of running back that is extremely shifty with his lateral movement, possessing footwork that is second to none.
Mizzell just finished up at the Baltimore Nike Camp. Here is what a recruiting expert had to say:
“Mizzell has such great feet and is so quick in space that it's almost unfair to see him at camps against linebackers. He will do his thing again we suspect, but there are a few talented linebackers who are very good at dropping in coverage we'd like to see him face.”
In sticking with the Baltimore area, there is another player on the WVU roster he keeps an eye on, Baltimore’s own Tavon Austin. Mizzell was quick to notice the impact Austin has in the offense, and likes the wide open offense with the chance to make plays in space.
With all the accomplishments he has and the offers he has received, Mizzell knows there is work to be done.
Last year he was timed at a 4.8 in the 40, but he believes he can get in the low 4.4’s. He plans to participate in the Rivals 100 five-star challenge in Atlanta in June, and the U.S. Army All-American Bowl held in San Antonio in January.
He has long stated that West Virginia and Virginia will be in the discussion when Signing Day approaches, along with others like Virginia Tech in the mix. When asked about his status, here is what the talented back had to say:
"Both are schools I know will make my list," Mizzell confirmed of UVA and West Virginia. "I want to narrow the list in the summer and I'm just looking for coaches I can have a good relationship with, be myself and someone who needs me where I can have the ability to make an impact as soon as I get there. A visit can just change the way I feel about other colleges. I want to make a decision by the season hopefully."
Mizzell has 20 offers from schools all over the nation. Teams like Clemson, Miami, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Ohio State, Tennessee, and Virginia have all offered.
We wish the young man the best during his senior season and camps he participates in.
Stay with EERinsider.com for all your recruiting news.
Taquan "Smoke" Mizzell - Junior Highlights
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