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Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Expect to see more Duke Johnson in 2013

By Andrea Adelson

Everybody expects to see just a little bit more of Duke Johnson on the field for Miami this season.

How much more?

Coach Al Golden says Johnson is in line to get at least seven more touches a game in 2013.

Seems pretty intuitive, given what Johnson did his freshman year, when he won ACC Rookie of the Year honors and emerged as one of the best all-purpose players in the nation. Johnson goes into this year on four preseason watch lists and has a spot on the preseason All-ACC team as well.

Coach Al Golden says Johnson is much better equipped to handle a bigger role because he has gone through one full year in the weight room at Miami. Johnson now weights 194 pounds, up about 10 from his first year. He also goes into his first year as a starter, meaning he will be expected to shoulder more.

Last year, Johnson averaged about 13 touches a game on offense. Golden wants to get that number between 18-20 touches per game.

"I think Duke will tell you that he hit a wall last year," Golden said. "We asked him to do a lot, and he did so without the offseason program without spring football and without the summer conditioning. He’s added weight and size, he’s doing great with his conditioning. Obviously, he’s playing with a more quiet mind right now. He’s not learning all the techniques and concepts, so he’s playing at a higher level and because of that, he’ll get more touches. I don’t want to wear him out, either. But I want to make sure we get him enough touches."

When you include his role with special teams, Johnson had 195 touches and scored 14 total touchdowns in 2012. Johnson ranked No. 9 in the nation among all-purpose players, averaging 171.7 yards a game. Now we get to see how much better he can be with more opportunities to make some big plays.