Because I am an avid fan of the Miami Hurricanes, I was taken aback when I saw that Lamar Miller had decided to enter the 2012 NFL Draft after just two seasons with the Canes. However, where one door closes, another often opens.
With that, the Hurricanes have reloaded at the running back position and now head into the 2012 season fully stocked.
Roster Reveals All
When looking at the Miami Hurricanes' opening-day roster, there are names that almost every Canes fan is well aware of, especially at the running back position. Heading into the season, the depth chart shows Mike James as the starter, with Eduardo Clements and freshman Duke Johnson getting the second slot on the chart.
Both the starter James and backup Clements have seen playing time in the past with the Canes, but, until now, neither was really a featured back. However, they will get their chance in 2012, and when throwing freshman sensation Duke Johnson into the mix, the Canes should not be light on talent one bit at running back.
Can a Duke Be the King?
One of the questions on my mind is how well freshman Duke Johnson will play. While he entered the Canes program immediately listed at the fourth spot on the depth chart, hard work and determination now has him tied for the second spot with veteran Eduardo Clements. Johnson, who is said to have posted a 4.3-second run in the 40-yard dash, can really add some spark to a Hurricanes offense that has a lot of fresh faces.
In all actuality, should Johnson make the most out of each and every carry he gets. and if there is any lack of ability shown by James and/or Clements, then there might by a new king in town at running back. This would be an amazing feat, as Johnson is so young. But if the quick runner can prove he is a cut above the rest, then I think head coach Al Golden will make the most of his talents.
Solid as a Collective
In Lamar Miller's sophomore, and final, season with the Canes, he ran for well over 1,200 yards and had nine touchdowns to go with the yardage. While I don't feel that any of the running backs on the Canes roster are going to have that kind of year, I do feel that as a unit the running backs make for a solid running solution. There is always a chance that one of them will have a breakout season -- and that's fine. However, in this year of what appears to be a rebuilding one for the Canes, these running backs will likely work together, share the load, and end the season with some solid overall numbers for the Miami Hurricanes.
Jimmy Collins has been a loyal fan of "The U" since he was a child attending games at the original Orange Bowl. Still a resident of South Florida, he attends numerous Miami Hurricanes games each season and enjoys writing about NCAA Football and the Miami Hurricanes in particular.
More from this contributor: