Best Hurricanes Football Player - 2013
When you're creating your montage of Duke Johnson season highlights to upload to YouTube, you should probably soundtrack it to something like the Foo Fighters' "My Hero" or Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out for a Hero" or, if you have questionable taste, that "Hero" song that the lead singer of Nickelback did. Whatever the case, Johnson was certainly the hero of an uncertain Miami Hurricanes season. With a team relying so heavily on freshman and sophomore talent, along with the soap opera that has become the NCAA's investigation into Nevin Shapiro's claims still ongoing, the Hurricanes seemed as if they were entering this season with a black cloud looming above. In its first game, the team looked like it would fall to Boston College. Then, in the second quarter, Johnson, a true freshman, stunned fans with a 54-yard touchdown. A quarter later, Johnson topped that with a 56-yard score, and No. 8 didn't stop running all season. He led the team with 947 rushing yards and became the team's first ACC Rookie of the Year. The best part is he'll be back next year.