Miami Football: Hurricanes' RB Duke Johnson Is the Heart and Soul of the Offense

Running Back Duke Johnson Is the Heart and Soul of the Hurricanes' Offense

5/9/14 in NCAAF   |   Nick_Kaminsky   |   29 respect

Duke Johnson’s career as a member of the Miami Hurricanes has been nothing short of spectacular. Blog Photo - Miami (FL) Football: Running Back Duke Johnson is the Heart and Soul of the Hurricanes 

Johnson is a Miami-made guy from Norland High School and was widely considered the best running back in the 2012 class.
 
Johnson’s very first collegiate game was a coming out party. I’ll never forget watching his first touchdown, as he beat everyone to the corner and showed off his speed for  54 yards against 
Boston CollegeThe Eagles had no answer for Johnson, as he finished with 135 yards and two touchdowns on 
seven carries.
 
The ACC Rookie of the Year showed no signs of slowing down last season. Johnson led the team with 920 rushing yards, despite missing five games due to fracturing his ankle against Florida State.
 
His average of 174.1 all-purpose yards per game would have ranked-fifth nationally if he played in 10 games to qualify. 

So yes his stats are impressive, but just how valuable is Johnson to the Hurricanes?

In 2013, Miami was 7-1 before he was injured and then stumbled to a 2-4 record without Duke in the backfield. You would be crazy to say the Hurricanes didn’t miss him down the stretch.
 
But the injury wasn’t all bad for Johnson, he’s as focused as he’s ever been and has a new outlook on the game.
 
“When you get an injury like I did you just learn to love the game even more,” Johnson said
 to the Miami Herald. “You just learn to appreciate the days you’re out here, the long days you get tired and you say you want to go and wish you had a break. You really don’t. This is where you’d rather be.”
 
Johnson has also been working on his frame. He played at about 195 pounds last season and is now up to 207 and looks much more muscular.
 
Should we expect Johnson to continue to be the biggest playmaker again for the Hurricanes in 2014?
 
Absolutely.
 
Johnson is the heart and soul of this team, there’s no doubt about that. Miami will need him to have his best year yet, which could ultimately name him the best running back in college football.
 
Don’t expect Johnson to disappoint. 
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