Miami running back Duke Johnson announced Sunday that he will forgo his senior season to enter the NFL draft.
Johnson finished his junior season with 1,652 rushing yards after the Hurricanes' 24-21 loss to South Carolina in the Independence Bowl on Saturday. The Miami native led all rushers with 24 carries for 132 yards and a touchdown, and also caught five passes for 51 yards. He also injured his ankle in the fourth quarter, fumbling on the play while the Hurricanes were driving for a potential game-tying touchdown.
Johnson ends his Miami career as the school's all-time leading rusher with 3,519 rushing yards, as well as 26 rushing touchdowns and 5,523 all-purpose yards in 33 games. His performance on Saturday was his 14th career 100-yard rushing game, tying him with former Hurricanes Edgerrin James and Clinton Portis for the school record.
According to HurrianceSports.com, Johnson said the decision was a difficult one to make.
“Of course there was back and forth. As a kid, I always wanted to come here. I loved it. I didn’t want to leave it,” said Johnson, who will continue to work towards his degree in the spring. “At the same time, like I mentioned before, the life for running backs [in the NFL] isn’t that high. I think it’s best to get out when I can.”
Miami finished 6-7, making a bowl for the second straight year under head coach Al Golden.
- Mike Fiammetta