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Miami RB Duke Johnson enters 2013 feeling 'more powerful'

J Pat Carter / AP Photo
Miami RB Duke Johnson will have to prove he can produce against top teams in 2013.

Miami TB Duke Johnson rushed for 947 yards and 10 TDs last season -- the fourth-highest total by a true freshman in 2012 -- and was named the ACC's offensive freshman of the year.

Johnson added eight pounds in the offseason and is up to 5-feet-9 and 196 pounds, and he told the Miami Herald he feels "more powerful. I'm putting on the right kind of weight."

He told reporters he added the weight "so I would avoid injuries and not go down midseason."

Miami coach Al Golden -- who calls the player by his given name of "Randy" -- said Johnson has "improved his conditioning. He's improved his size. Physically, he looks different. I think he's more mature. He should play with a quiet mind because he's learned everything. He's learned all the pickups. He's learned the routes. He's learned everything in the backfield. I think that's going to help him play faster. He's got a great toolbox already."

Last season, Johnson -- who starred at Miami's Norland High and was a consensus top-five running back nationally out of high school in the 2012 recruiting class -- was the only player in the nation with 900 rushing yards and 800 kickoff-return yards.

One thing to watch this season: Last season, UM played three teams that played in BCS games, and Johnson managed a total of 68 yards in those contests. Game 2 this season is against Florida, which was fourth in the nation in rush defense last season and again should be one of the best teams in the SEC against the run.

Follow Mike Huguenin on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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