ACC tandems: Stephen Morris, Duke Johnson give Miami punch

This is the first of our position-by-position look at the best tandems in the ACC this season. First up is offensive backfield.

The best: Miami

The duo: QB Stephen Morris and RB Duke Johnson

The reasoning: Morris was a revelation as a full-time starter for the first time last season and has shot up draft boards -- he won the skills challenge at the Manning Passing Academy last month. Morris (6-foot-2, 214 pounds) threw for 3,345 yards and 21 touchdowns last season. Morris has a strong arm and good mobility. He needs to improve his accuracy (57.7 percent for his career), and he sometimes takes unnecessary chances (18 career picks and 28 career TDs) because of his strong arm. He has played in a pro-style attack and was an apt pupil of former offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch, who now holds the same job with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Johnson was one of the best true freshmen in the nation last season. He has breakaway speed and put it to good use in the backfield and on kickoff returns in 2012. Johnson rushed for 947 yards and six TDs last fall, and has added eight pounds of muscle this offseason in preparation for a heavier workload. He's up to 196 pounds and has told reporters he feels much stronger now. Johnson averaged 11.6 carries per game last fall and that should climb to at least 18 or 19 this season. He also flashed some skill as a receiver last season (27 receptions for 221 yards), and that facet of his game should come into play more this fall as he becomes a more well-rounded tailback.

Follow Mike Huguenin on Twitter @MikeHuguenin

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content