There are certain points where a team finds their future right beneath their noses. The Miami Hurricanes discovered that last season in running back with Duke Johnson. The freshman finished with 947 yards rushing on 139 carries and ten touchdowns. It is going to be up to Johnson to produce even more this season for a Miami team that has a chance to play for the final BCS Championship.
Johnson really increased his yardage totals in the final four games of the season, rushing for over 100 yards during three of those games. There are going to be no coaches around the country who will complain about a running back averaging 6.8 yards per carry but the key to me is how durable Johnson is. He is only 5-9 and 183 pounds which leads me to believe he will always be a third-down back for his career until he gains some weight or grows suddenly.
It has been proven in the past though that running backs like that can be successful. It is quite possible that Johnson could be next in line to be like that. I wouldn’t be surprised if Johnson finishes with over 200 carries this coming season and nearly 1,200 yards in the process. It won’t be enough to merit consideration for a Heisman Trophy but if Johnson can keep improving, that could be possible during his junior year.
Miami has a lot of weapons back this season from a team that went 7-5 last year. The schedule is favorable for the Hurricanes as well and if Johnson can keep being the force he was last season, there is no reason why Miami can’t win nine or ten games in 2013.