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Duke Johnson Leaving Canes For NFL Draft

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- A decision that has been expected for a while now, Miami Hurricanes running back Duke Johnson announced Sunday that he is entering the NFL draft.

In Saturday's Hurricanes loss against South Carolina in the Duck Commander Independence Bowl, Johnson ran for 132 yards on 24 carries and caught five passes for 51 yards. It was his final game with the Canes.

Johnson is the Hurricanes' all-time leading rusher with 3,519 yards and he had 14 100-yard rushing contests during his time at Miami.  That ties him with Edgerrin James and Clinton Portis for the school record.

"I think looking at the list and the guys I've passed is an accomplishment in and of itself," Johnson said in a release. "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."

Johnson started every game for the 6-7 Hurricanes this year, finishing with 1,652 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns.

Some experts rate Johnson as the No. 5 draft-eligible running back.

"Of course there was back and forth. As a kid, I always wanted to come here. I loved it. I didn't want to leave it," said Johnson, who will continue to work toward his degree by taking classes during the spring semester. "At the same time, like I mentioned before, the life for running backs [in the NFL] isn't that high. I think it's best to get out when I can."


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