Virginia Beach (Va.) Bayside running back Taquan Mizzell has added a fifth star to his resume and has earned the No. 1 ranking at all-purpose back as well. Now he can add another line to that impressive resume - Virginia Cavalier. The nation's No. 20 player overall chose Mike London's team over West Virginia and North Carolina on Tuesday afternoon.
"I chose Virginia mainly because of my relationship with coach London," said the 5-foot-10, 183-pounder. "He's a great coach and he really took an interest in recruiting me. I like all the coaches on the staff, but my relationship with him as the head coach was important. Virginia has a great atmosphere and a lot of that has to do with coach London."
In addition to London, who has taken Virginia to new heights in recruiting the last few years, Mizzell notes the pro-style offense in Charlottesville as a key factor as well.
"They were the only school out of my three finalists that talked about running back all the time," he said. "I know I can play in the slot and I'll do some of that at Virginia, but I consider myself a running back and I like the way they use Perry Jones there. He's not the biggest running back, but they use him like one because he plays bigger. I like West Virginia and North Carolina a lot, but Virginia recruited me the best because they knew I wanted to be a running back first."
It doesn't hurt that two of Mizzell's former teammates and current friends, defensive back Demetrious Nicholson and wide receiver Anthony Cooper, are on the Virginia roster.
"It wasn't a big factor other than that I know two players I trust that tell me they really like it there and like the coaches," he said. "They can confirm everything the coaches have been telling me and that's important."
Mizzell wants to keep the Bayside tradition going at Virginia as well and is already working on 2014 future five-star safety Quin Blanding.
"I've been working on him even before I committed," Mizzell said with a laugh. "He knows where I want him to go."
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