Miami's Duke Johnson will enter 2015 NFL Draft, his mom says


Miami running back Duke Johnson played his final game as a Hurricane on Saturday. Maybe.

His mother, Cassandra Mitchell, told the Palm Beach Post that Saturday's Independence Bowl against South Carolina would be her son's final college game. Johnson had been scheduled to announce his decision Sunday, which is Mitchell's birthday, and he did not tip his hand when talking to reporters after the game, saying he had a news conference Sunday at noon to announce his decision.

Johnson is the leading career rusher in school history (3,519 yards) and rushed for 1,652 yards this season. He had 132 yards in the 24-21 bowl loss to South Carolina; that was his 14th career 100-yard game, tying him with Edgerrin james and Clinton Portis for the most in school history. Johnson suffered an injury late in the loss to the Gamecocks, but said after the game that the injury was a minor one.

NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks wrote last month that Johnson "could be a better pro prospect than some of the bigger names garnering the headlines at the position" because of his "exceptional" receiving skills.

Johnson has 38 receptions this season and 69 in his career.

Georgia's Todd Gurley and Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon look to be the top two backs available for the draft, but Johnson will be at or near the top of the second tier.

The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft is Jan. 15.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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