Johnson, whose Miami highlight was a 71-yard touchdown run in what was Randy Shannon’s final game as UM’s head coach, rushed for 119 yards on nine carries as a freshman with the Canes in 2010. Johnson says he feels right at home with the Knights and is pushing for the starting job in the offensive backfield.
“Sitting out was tough. That was the first year since I was 6 that I didn’t play,” said Johnson, now a third-year sophomore.
“Taking off did help me adjust, helped my character. I learned a lot. I’m thankful to have the year with those guys. I’ve been working hard with them. I’m very happy to be here. I needed to be somewhere else and picked UCF.”
The Knights are pretty deep at running back with 2011 MVP Latavius Murray looking to start against the Zips.
When the Knights head to Columbus for a date against Ohio State on Sept. 8, Johnson will likely be sought after by his team.
In the shoe
Johnson, after all, knows what traveling to the famed “Horseshoe” is like, having been part of Miami’s traveling party for the Hurricanes’ 36-24 loss there in 2010.
UCF has a few signature wins in its history, from beating Georgia in 2010 to a 30-3 thrashing of Boston College last season.
Pulling off a win against Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes, however, would bring some much-needed positive attention to a UCF program that could use some after this past summer.
“That is going to be a fun, exciting trip,” Johnson said. “That place was crazy. We’ll be ready. We’re not looking too far ahead. We’re looking at the opener, not Ohio State. This is going to be a fun ride.”