Michigan running back Drake Johnson sprung back to life for the Wolverines in 41-7 win over Florida.

Michigan running back Drake Johnson sprung back to life for the Wolverines in 41-7 win over Florida.

Drake Johnson is back...almost.

Appearing in 12 games for Michigan this season, Johnson flashed his versatility and quickness to the tune of 271-yards rushing and six total touchdowns.

With a month off leading up to Friday's Citrus Bowl win over Florida though, Johnson appeared to have his legs under him as well as he did before tearing his ACL in the season finale at Ohio State in 2014.

Johnson finished with 58-yards on the ground, a rushing touchdown and receiving touchdown for the Wolverines.

"Right now I'm probably feeling as close as I have since last year," Johnson said. "I still probably wouldn't say I'm 100-percent there but I'm pretty close, I feel like."

And Johnson looked darn near close to the player he was before the injury, showcasing elusiveness and balance against a deep and talented Florida defense.

Quick to deflect all of the praise though, Johnson gave all credit to the Michigan offensive line.

"They just worked them," Johnson said. "They kept hitting them, kept hitting them and running power at them. 

"We just kept going 100 miles per hour and attacking," added Johnson. "That's what happens, you attack and the other team starts letting up a little bit and you put up 41-points."

Michigan's 10-3 finish is the culmination of a core of upperclassmen facing great adversity throughout their careers, along with a coach in Jim Harbaugh that seemed to get his players on the same page.

The result was one of the better offensive performances of the season, including the most yards and points the Gators gave up all season long.

According to Johnson, it's just about sticking with the plan.

"At first you're like, is this going to work?" Johnson said. "Coach Harbaugh's method, you hear it at first, it seems kind of nuts and that doesn't seem like it'll work. Then the product happens and you're like yeah, I probably should've just known the entire time this was happening. 

"He's been preaching to us this past month, hey, you handle your business the way you're supposed to, you do this the right way, and you're going to win this game."

Now looking ahead to 2016, Michigan plans to use the win over Florida to propel them through a long off-season.

"Any bowl game win propels you into the next season," he said. "Be it recruiting, be it the players momentum, players feeling good. That off-season conditioning tastes a little sweeter."

The Michigan Insider Top Stories