Johnson signed with Miami as part of its 2010 class and played in several games as a true freshman last season. At 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds, Johnson made an early commitment to LSU as a senior in high school but the Tigers stopped recruiting him during his senior year. That opened the door for Miami and the Hurricanes received one of his three official visits -- along with Kentucky and Michigan State. He was recruited like a three-star player when he inked with the Canes.
Having played in all but four games as a true freshman last season, Johnson ran nine times for 119 yards and one touchdown, including a long touchdown run against USF in the regular season finale. He also caught one pass and returned nine kickoffs for 194 yards.
Losing Johnson gives Miami three recruited tailbacks on the current roster -- Lamar Miller, Mike James, and Darion Hall. That is four less than the 2010 roster, which featured seniors Damien Berry and Graig Cooper along with freshman Eduardo Clements, who is now playing defensive back but could be moved back to running back.
Johnson was expected to be the team's number three running back this fall, behind Miller and James. Now Hall, who didn't play as a redshirt in 2010, will have to play a bigger role and expect to see the Canes trying to get fullback Maurice Hagens into the game more.
Incoming freshman Kevin Grooms, who also played cornerback in high school, will likely start his UM career at running back. He's one of the fastest kids in this year's recruiting class and will be given a chance to make an early impact in the backfield.
Four-star Duke Johnson is already committed to Miami for the 2012 class at running back and the Canes seem to be looking to add one more to that class.