Duke: Enrolled and with high expectations

Duke Johnson was widely considered the top player in Miami's 2013 recruiting class and he's now enrolled and has high expectations on him.

Duke Johnson always wanted to be a Hurricane, even from the time he first started playing football at a young age. It was no surprise, then, when he committed to the Hurricanes under former coach Randy Shannon when he was just midway through his junior season at Miami Norland High.

Johnson, 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds, ended up becoming one of Dade County's most productive prep players ever and went through the entire recruiting process without taking a single official visit to any other school.

The five-star running back prospect is now enrolled in school and ready to go. Expectations are high and running backs coach Terry Richardson understands that as well as anyone.

"Duke is what I call a creative runner," Richardson said. "There are so many different things he does with the football. He's tough enough that he can go inside. He has a good base on him. He can take on tacklers. I think he's a football guy. The game comes naturally to him. Just talking about him, I'm excited about him. The biggest thing is now that he's here, enrolled in classes and now he just has to earn everything he gets."

With Mike James and Eduardo Clements returning as two primary running backs, Johnson's immediate role seems to be up in the air right now as the talented freshman tries to learn the offense.

"It depends on how much he can handle," the coach said about his freshman's role this season. "Until he can prove it, I don't see him having to carry the ball 30 times a game. As a true freshman, we're just gonna work him in slowly and see how much he progresses and how much he retains and then we'll go from there."

Johnson will be joined by fellow freshman Danny Dillard, a bigger back from Venice High School, later this summer Together, they'll be counted upon to make a big impact for the Canes this fall.


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