University of Miami football fans might have to wait until the fall to see Duke Johnson play again.
Johnson, UM’s starting running back, said Sunday he does not believe his fractured ankle will be healthy enough to participate during the Hurricanes’ spring practice, but should be cleared to start working out and doing on-field work in “two months, a month-and-a-half — around that range.”
Although UM announced its spring game will be April 12, the school has yet to release dates regarding its spring practice schedule.
“I’m really excited in the progress I’ve made, and everyone else [at UM] is excited, too,” said Johnson, who at Hollywood McArthur High for tryouts for the South Florida Express 7-on-7 football team and walking around under his own power. “I’m just ready to get back.”
“I don’t believe I will [participate this spring]. But if anything changes, you’ll see. But I don’t really think so.”
Along with rehabbing, Johnson’s main focus this offseason is putting in extra work in the class and weight rooms, as well as keeping a positive attitude since sustaining the injury against Florida State on Nov. 2.
“I wouldn’t say frustrating but it’s been good,” Johnson said of his mind-set. “I’m just rehabbing and getting back and helping the team anyway I can.”
Johnson and his teammates have had to endure rumors of their coach, Al Golden, leaving UM to coach at Penn State in recent weeks, which have been put to rest since Penn State hired James Franklin from Vanderbilt on Jan. 9.
Johnson said Golden did not address the team about anything regarding the matter because “we didn’t feel the need to.”
“We looked at it as just rumor, as that’s what it was,” Johnson said. “Nothing took place that we know of. Nothing really happened.
“He’s still here. There was no need to have a talk with us. We’re moving on to our season and don’t have time for distractions such as that.”Kevin Feder Charles Perry