Jacksonville Sports Day

CFB: Miami’s Johnson, Flowers Declare for NFL Draft

By MIKE BONTS
FLORIDA SPORTS WIRE

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – University of Miami running back Duke Johnson announced Sunday his plans to forego his final year of college eligibility and declare for the 2015 NFL Draft.

Junior offensive tackle Ereck Flowers also announced today that he has decided to enter the 2015 NFL Draft.
Johnson, the all-time leading rusher in Miami’s storied history at the position, totaled 1,652 rushing yards in his final season with the Hurricanes. The Miami Norland High School alum ends his college career with 3,519 rushing yards, 26 rushing touchdowns, and 5,523 all-purpose yards in just 33 games.

A 2014 All-ACC first-team selection by both the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA) and ACC coaches, Johnson set a personal best with 2,070 all-purpose yards this season. 

Johnson ended his career with a 132-yard performance against South Carolina in the Duck Commander Independence Bowl – marking his 14th career 100-yard rushing game, tying him with Miami greats Edgerrin James and Clinton Portis for the most all-time.

“I think looking at the list and the guys I’ve passed is an accomplishment in and of itself,” Johnson said.  “I’m very grateful to have [had] an opportunity to return kicks, catch the ball out of the backfield and run the ball where I can get up above all these great UM players who came before me.

“The biggest thing with me is leaving something with my young guys, leaving something with my running backs – Joseph Yearby, Gus Edwards, Trayone Gray and Walter Tucker – to where they can see what it takes and what needs to be done to be great.”

Johnson dominated in his final season with the Hurricanes, posting a stretch of six straight 100-yard games in the middle of the campaign. After missing the final five games of 2013 to a year-ending ankle injury, Johnson rebounded with one of the most dominant seasons by a running back in Miami history.

Johnson averaged 6.8 yards per carry on his 242 attempts in 2014, finishing with 10 rushing touchdowns. His 90-yard TD run against North Carolina tied the longest play from scrimmage in program history, his 249-yard performance against Virginia Tech tied him for the third-best single-game mark, while his 89 yards against Pittsburgh moved him past Ottis Anderson into first place in all-time rushing yards.
Flowers saw action in 12 games this past season and made 11 starts as he established himself as one of the team’s toughest and most reliable offensive linemen this past year.

The 6-6, 330-pound, Miami native played a key role for the Hurricanes’ in 2014 as he paved the way for Miami’s offensive unit as it averaged 430.3 yards per game and just under 30 point per game.

Miami had three players selected in the 2014 NFL Draft: offensive guard Brandon Linder (Jacksonville Jaguars, third round), punter Pat O’Donnell (Chicago Bears, sixth round) and offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson (Buffalo Bills, seventh round).


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