Second Year Profiles: Smoke

Smoke had a disappointing year, but still has a lot of potential. - Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

In the second entry of our profiles of last year's freshmen, we look at TaQuan "Smoke" Mizzell. Smoke came in as a 5 star recruit and had tons of hype. Sadly, his first season didn't go according to plan, for a variety of reasons.

TaQuan "Smoke" Mizzell came to Charlottesville with a ton of hype. I can't remember an offensive prospect with as much hype as Smoke. Many of the Hoos top prospects on offense have been OLs, and they simply don't generate as much interest as a 5-star RB or WR.

Mizzell received the first touch of the season for the Hoos, taking the opening kickoff back 25 yards against BYU. He had 7 rushes in that game for just 16 yards. His season high was 52 yards rushing against Duke, which included a 36 yard rush. He scored 2 TDs against Miami - one rushing and one receiving - and had 78 total yards. Against UNC, he recorded a 48 yard kickoff return and ended up with 142 total yards (108 of those were kickoff return yards).

On the season, Smoke rushed 45 times for 184 yards, a decent 4.1 yards per rush. He had 29 receptions for 164 yards, which comes to downright terrible 5.7 yards per reception. He also totaled 347 kickoff return yards, on 21 returns, for a 16.5 yard average, which is pretty much terrible.

Mizzell missed two games during the season with a "lower-extremity injury". This injury likely plagued him all year and took away some of his explosiveness. It helps to explain his poor numbers. The Hoos complete lack of offensive identity and ability also explains it. As the season went on, Kevin Parks took more and more of the load at RB, and ended up with over 1,000 yards rushing. This also didn't help Smoke's production level. It seemed like when Smoke came in, he was almost always being used in the passing game. His 29 receptions were 4th on the team, but hit 5.7 yards per catch is last among players with more than 3 catches.

The combination of a nagging injury and poor usage make Smoke's season look a bit disappointing. (OK, maybe more than a bit.) But Smoke looked dangerous a few times. And considering the two veteran RBs ahead of him, the expectations were likely way too high. The injury, of course, also doesn't help.

Smoke's level of hype may have diminished. The fans may already be disappointed in him. But his potential to be a game-breaking RB hasn't changed. Unfortuntely, this season is much the same. Parks and Khalek Shepherd are still ahead of him on the depth chart. Dominique Terrell and Darius Jennings (and Shepherd) are probably still ahead of him as kick and punt returners. But Smoke now has a year under his belt, and hopefully he's fully healthy. He may not be a star this year, but he'll provide a couple of "wow" plays, and hopefully get us excited for next year, when he's on top of the depth chart.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Streaking The Lawn

You must be a member of Streaking The Lawn to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Streaking The Lawn. You should read them.

Join Streaking The Lawn

You must be a member of Streaking The Lawn to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Streaking The Lawn. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker