No. 3. Duke Johnson, RB, Miami
Previous ranking: No. 11
Making the case for Johnson: He had what was arguably the greatest freshman season in school history. Still need more? Johnson, who was named the ACC’s overall and offensive Rookie of the Year in 2012, was one of the ACC’s most electric kick returners, and he set the school single-season record with 892 kick return yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for a freshman-record 947 yards and 10 touchdowns. His 2,060 all-purpose yards were the second-most in program history.
Johnson played in all 12 games last year and made five starts. He also had six games with 200-plus all-purpose yards and four 100-yard rushing games. He was named the ACC’s Rookie of the Week a league-best five-times. It’s possible Johnson could be even better this fall, as all five starters return on the offensive line, and the Canes have one of the best quarterbacks in the country in Stephen Morris.