Virginia may have questions at the quarterback position heading into 2013, but one area the team is confident about is in the backfield where the running game should be a consistent presence.
The Cavaliers return last year’s leading rusher, Kevin Parks who rushed for 734 yards and five touchdowns as a sophomore and the 5-8 back will be counted on replicating those numbers at the very minimum if not approaching a 1,000 yards.
Joining Parks in the backfield is highly touted recruit, Taquan Mizzell (Virginia Beach, Va. Bayside) who signed with the team last August and the crown jewel of the recruiting class should be expected to carry the ball around 12-15 times per game and is capable of catching the ball out of the backfield.
Neither Parks nor Mizzell are big featured backs, but the combination, if used properly should produce around 1,500 total rushing yards and eclipse double-digit touchdowns.
Mizzell was a four-star back and one of the higher ranked recruits to come to Virginia during head coach Mike London’s time in Charlottesville, Va and has a bright future as a member of the Cavaliers football team if he stays out of trouble.
The 19-year old was arrested in January for underage drinking after he was spotted trying to kick a passing car in the middle of the street.
When he’s not showcasing his karate kicks in the middle of traffic, the 5-10, 190-pound Mizzell is known for weaving his way in and out of traffic on the football field. He has exceptional speed and earned the nickname “Smoke” as a result of his quick burst and acceleration.
Virginia can get back to a bowl game if the all-purpose back Mizzell meshes well with returning starter Parks and gives the Cavaliers a nice one-two punch for ACC defenses to worry about.
Follow me on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt