Explosive Johnson puts on a show

Miami’s Duke Johnson has been one of the most explosive players in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season and Saturday’s brilliant all-around performance in a 41-40 loss at Virginia put him within reach of several Hurricanes records.

Miami's Duke Johnson is 247Sports National True Freshman of the Week.

Johnson rushed for a career high 150 yards on 16 carries. He also threw a eight-yard touchdown to Allen Hurns in the first quarter and returned a 95-yard kickoff for a touchdown. For the game, Johnson accounted for 384 all purpose yards-his most in a single game this season. For his efforts, he is 247Sports National True Freshman of the Week.

Though Johnson put up staggering numbers, the loss to the Cavaliers made the Hurricanes’ path to the Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division title got a little more difficult, something that wasn’t lost on the star freshman.

“It doesn’t matter if you don’t win,” he said.

Following the performance against Virginia, Johnson is on the heels of some elite company with UM running backs. Johnson has set himself to be in position to break the true freshman rushing record held by Clinton Portis and the single season all purpose yardage record held by Willis McGahee.

Currently, Johnson has 1,704 all-purpose yards. McGahee had 2,108 in 2002.

Miami plays host to South Florida on Saturday in a non-conference game then will play at Duke on Nov. 24 with the ACC Coastal on the line.

Johnson has now rushed for 719 yards and six touchdowns this season. With USF and Duke remaining on the schedule, Johnson has a real chance to set a new true freshman rushing record for the Hurricanes. Clinton Portis currently has that record as he totaled 838 yards and eight touchdowns in 1999.

Also, the next time this season Johnson returns a kickoff return for a touchdown, he will hold the school record in that category as well. 



As a recruit, Johnson was ranked as the nation’s No. 19 overall prospect, No. 3 all-purpose back and No.3 overall prospect in the state of Florida by the 247Composite, which weighs equally the rankings and ratings of prospects by recruiting media outlets. He was rated 0.9889, which equates to five stars. 247Sports ranked Johnson No. 29 overall and also as the third-ranked all-purpose back and No. 3 overall in Florida. He was rated a 97, which equates to four stars. He played in the Under Armour All-American game and enrolled at Miami on May 16.

National True Freshmen of the Week- 247Sports

Nov. 3- T.J. Yeldon, RB, Alabama
Oct. 27- Phillip Nelson, QB, Minnesota
Oct. 20- Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
Oct. 13- Stefon Diggs, WR, Maryland
Oct. 6- Aaron Burbridge, WR, Michigan State
Sept. 29- Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
Sept. 22- Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
Sept. 15- Rushel Shell, RB, Pittsburgh

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