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Duke Johnson turns in MVP performance in 5A title game, final game for Norland Vikings

ORLANDO -- It wasn't the greatest performance of his career -- far from it actually. But even on a day he fumbled and threw an interception, Duke Johnson was still pretty special in his final game in a Norland Vikings uniform.

Duke JohnsonHe turned in 266 all-purpose yards, five touchdowns and an MVP performance in leading Norland to a 38-0 win over Crawfordville Wakulla in the Class 5A state championship game Friday afternoon at the Citrus Bowl. (P.S. -- Don't mind the fat guy interviewing Duke after the game. Herald's Al Diaz shot it.)

"Today it was totally his show. Whether it was a run, a catch, a straight on return, you don't get any better than that. He's by the far best we've seen in the state this year," said Dwight Thomas, who coached a guy you might have heard of -- Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith at Pensacola Escambia High.

"That stuff he does where he's here one second and then over there the next, you can't emulate it. He's special."

Norland (15-0) probably could have beaten the overmatched War Eagles (12-3) without Johnson (5-9, 182). But the Vikings -- ranked eighth nationally by ESPN -- certainly would not have completed the climb to the crown without him.

Two weeks ago at No. 1-ranked Glades Central, a place no Miami-Dade or Broward team had won in 14 previous playoff trips, Johnson ran for 230 yards and four touchdowns. A week later, he posted the fourth-highest single game performance in Miami-Dade history, rallying his team from a 20-0 deficit at Palmetto by rushing for 375 yards and 3 TDs in a state semifinal win.

All Johnson did Friday was prove to a statewide television audience that hadn't seen him yet beyond grainy YouTube highlights is that he's not only the best present University of Miami coach Al Golden has under his Christmas tree, but one of the best players Dade has ever produced.

Johnson's final senior season rushing stats -- 208 carries, 2,087 yards, 29 TDs -- rank ninth all-time in Dade history. His career rushing numbers -- 504 carries, 5,109 yards, 70 TDs -- rank third all-time. But when you consider he averaged 10.0 yards per carry and had 103 rushing attempts fewer than the great Frank Gore (2,953 yards in 2000) this season, Johnson's performance stands out even more.

"To me, I once thought Duke was the most exciting player I'd ever seen," said Norland athletic director Ira Fluitt, a basketball star during his old playing days at Miami Springs. "But after what he did last week in running for 375 yards I think he's the best player I've ever seen. I'd put him right up there with the greats like Frank Gore, Elvis Peacock and Troy Davis."

Johnson, the state's Class 5A Player of the Year and a finalist for Florida's Mr. Football Award, gave Wakulla's defense credit for making him work for 130 yards on 21 carries. It wasn't until his final carry of the game -- a 40-yard touchdown run with 6:12 remaining where he stiff armed three defenders on his way to the end zone -- that Johnson was able to break a run longer than 15 yards.

Still, he displayed his big play ability plenty. He returned a kickoff following a safety 69 yards for a touchdown early in the second quarter, hurdling over and spinning off would-be tacklers in impressive fashion. Later in the fourth quarter, he leaped over two defenders to haul in a 23-yard pass at the Wakulla 2-yard line. It setup his three-yard TD run two plays later.

"Blocking for that guy has been a lot of fun," said Vikings left tackle Ereck Flowers, a 6-6, 315-pound wrecking machine who will follow Johnson to UM. "He's a beast."

Norland coach Daryle Heidelburg said Golden and UM are getting a player "that refuses to lose" and "is going to do what it takes to build that program and help other players around him." Heidelburg said Johnson and linebacker Feddie Davey performed "bed checks" of teammates Thursday night before he could get to it himself.

Johnson wore special black and gold socks and gloves Friday to honor Liberty City Optimist founder, Sam Johnson (no relation), who passed away last Sunday from a heart attack. After the game, he returned to the Vikings bench to find a hat sporting the beak of Hurricanes mascot Sebastian the Ibis waiting for him and put it on.

His mom, Cassandra Prophet-Mitchell, who sat between UM assistants George McDonald and Terry Richardson for most of Friday's game, said there is no other place her son is going but UM.

"Can't wait to get there," Johnson said when asked if he's already thinking about the Canes.

But first, he says, "I'm resting for the next month. Then, it's track season. I want got to get faster."


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What an amazing talent. I can't wait to see him as a Cane!

I watched the game today this kid is a beast!!! with lamar miller sellin out this kid is definitely gonna get some touches as a true freshman. Oye manny ponte a rebajar!!!

Ahhhhhhhh Cane Fan … Relax, Spring is just around the corner in 4 months and U have plenty to look forward to as U have another off season to get bigger, stronger and mo smarter to “Get Back” to Conference and National Championships !!!

Until then, U can look forward to NO Bowl game, Shalalala announcing that she will be Ur Prez through 2020 … Average upper classmen bolting and declaring to be eventual 5th-7th. rounders and free agent NFL practice squad members … Al-B-Gone continUing to neither confirm or deny that he actually signed an extension … Below average Commits decommiting by the handfulls come January … And the ever looming NCAA ticking time bomb that will ban U from anymore (December) Bowls, Conference title shots and 5-8 schollies a year over 4 years that will set U back to the 1970′s in terms of real relevance in even the average #25-#50 ranked College Football landscape…

So cheer up and enjoy the moment of 6-6, 22-29 verses relevant compition the last 6 years, the Northwestern #1 posse player toilet flush, Al continuing to string U along and the vision of a post 2020 CANE THANG resergence !!!


oh, and U always have Cane hoops with 7k empty seats and Morris’ come along for the average ride Pingers to look forward to as well …

Manny 5-11/300+

Duke 5-7/179

Great looking kid. He should lead UM to at least 3 wins next year and a seat on the couch for all the Bowl games.

The future for UM fooseball has never been bleaker.

Ha Soldy! Know all, say all, predictor of the future! You don't get it!

I LOVE my Canes!!! I don't care of things you write...why should you??? I LOVE my Canes!

C -A -N -E -S -CANES!

I see you mentioned Troy Davis in your article. Lamar Miller might want to look up what happened to Troy when he came out for the NFL draft after his soph year. Drafted low, cut from camp, never heard from again. Davis was a better running back than Miller although Miller is faster. The NFL does covet speed, otherwise, Teddy Ginn would probably out of the league now, so he has a chance.

... i heard the Soldy stuff in the late 70's...'84...mid 90's and now...i think history has a chance to be more favorable the 'Canes way than theirs...

Try and watch some games before commenting on them. You have no clue what the he!! you are mumbling about

...allegiances unstated...as usual...no need to continue to comment...


bUbba Cane rUffian IGBO please watch a game or 2 before you start mumbling your nonsense eh

Poor gaturds are still hurt by Duke telling them NO-WAY man!

Get over it already! You guys are awful and can't compensate for your teams performance or a high school player denying your requests to go to trailer-ville.

LMFAO at idiots like rawpimple

Duke, can't wait to see you in a Canes uniform. Way to go!

Congrats Duke on the State Title and Proud Mom Cassandra and its time for the U Train....Go Canes.....Time for the Orange and Green!!!

UM is blessed to have BOTH Duke and his all everything left tackle Ereck Flowers join the Canes family next year.

Duke and Ereck, not only will you both be a part of the UM resurgence, you will be getting a 1st class education at an academically honored institution.

God bless you both, and your families.

Manny, because we want you around a LONG time, when you have the time, purchase a book called "A Week in the Zone" by Dr Barry Sears.

Duke Johnson has more football in one of his p-Ubic hairs than Chris Rainey, Jeff Demps and Percy Harvin have in their entire bodies.

This kid will make the memory ofLamr Miller and his barely there 1.5 seasons at Miami seem like a blink

Having a program in 2012 > Not having a program in 2012

"Cheryl Washington, who said she was unemployed but previously worked for Winn Dixie, raised four sons and a daughter by herself in Overtown."

But herself huh ? what about us ?

In a way I am glad Lamar Miller left early, just so there is more of a chance of getting to see this kid play.Don't get me wrong I would love to see Lamar for one more season.

Hey, Soldy, your life worth living?

- No way man.

Stil a douchebag only now a. Pringles douchebag. Predictions based on nothing. Sure, UM would announce an extension and Golden actually spoke about it but, nahhh, didn't happen.

The US Government faked the moon landing too, right you dumb Pig?

Gatr trash will see Suke soon enough. Another 18 months when he is plowing Gatr maggots. Can't wait to see that stupid look on Muscrap's face. Again. If he is even around.


With the penalties Miami will get, if they are not too much, Miami will be back in a couple of years to be an elite team. The freshmans Al played this year will become leaders of this team. They will have a good leader in Al Golden, and company. The key to all this will be a QB, and I think Golden knows this. Next year kids will know his system, and what the expectations are for this team.

I just have one more thing to say. How come Ohio State is playing in a bowl game this year, and the year before Pryor, and company who were in trouble at the time were still playing in a bowl game? Just something to chew on.

Norm they did not self impose a bowl ban. Let's not forget that not only is os charged but many violations several more have come out since the investigation was closed. We shall see but os looks in bad shape and are playing now with real problems in the future.

That's what we are talking about... a real True 'Cane that wants to attend and become part of the tradition and legacy..
Coach G congratulations on finding a good kid, a good athlete, and an all round exceptional player.
Coach McDonald and Coach Richardson have tied this talent down and the kid says:
"can't wait to get there".

That's what I am talking about Soldy, Rawpimple,Macjones and all you other Blowhards.
All those Gayturds should wish for an athlete like this..
He will be a 'Cane so STFU, any word from Moosechump.
Go 'Canes

Great job by Duke and his buddies! Looking forward to seeing he and Flowers in 'Canes uniforms next year. Both exhibit the kind of character and skill we need to seem at UM. While I live out of state and never went to the "U"....I'm a 'Canes supporter who grew up in Miami and roots for them in all sports. UM Fight Song is my ringtone.... Go Canes!

Whats with all this Miami is going to get hammered by the NCAA BS? The NCAA came down to Miami and investigated and the players were given very minimal punishment. The NCAA realizes this whole Nevingate hysteria is typical recruiting practices which goes on at every major football program across America and some of you think Miami is going to get hammered? What a joke!

Nevin Shapiro was a conman who was so good at what he does he scammed a billion dollars with a B. Miami self reported to the NCAA and has been helpful throughout the entire process. Hell the NCAA themselves has said as much. And again, let's not forget about the minimal suspensions the players received for basically what added up to typical recruiting practices if this were any of the big state schools paying for it with tax dollars.

The haters are going to hate "Gayturds and Semenholes" because they can't duplicate what the little private school down in Miami produces regularly, 5 Championships and countless ballers in the NFL. Hate on haters! When Miami receives that slap on the wrist and continue on like nothing happened you haters will be up in arms telling everybody how unfair it all is while you conjured up the severity of the situation in your pea sized brains.

Welcome to THE U Duke! Welcome to THE U Malcolm Lewis! You two should replace Lamar Miller and Streeter perfectly! Keep reeling in those ballers for the future Golden while FSwho UFag play in their respectable weedeater bowl games.

Right on Ibis.

The OSU scandal investigation started around 6 months before Miami's. The head coach was involved in the scandal. Some players were suspended. The coach was fired. But the NCAA has yet to declare its final verdict for OSU, UNC, and others. None of these schools, which had pay for play scandals have self imposed bowl bans. South Carolina, which was just discovered to be in a pay for play scandal toytalling >$ 50,000 is playing in a bowl and took 6 scholies away from itself over 3 yrs. Miami not playing in a lower tier bowl is not the end of the world but does counttoward the final verdict and it makes UM look good in the NCAA eyes.

When did the OSU scandal break out? Recall, it was right before the 2010 bowl. And people screamed how Pryor and a few others still got to play. That was one year ago and the NCAA hasn't ruled yet. IMI, it will still be another 1 1/2 yrs at least before we know the fate of theUM program by the hands of the NCAA. In the meantime, in 2011, UM continues the rebuilding process with these stellar young athletes including Flowers, Duke, Lewis and many others- rememeber with Miller, Washington, and Oliver gone we have 3 more scholies open. There are about 30 plus scholies avilable THIS year, so if Golden stacks them up, when and if the NCAA begins limiting the scholies, it won't affect UM but for a year or so.

532. Right on. To add, say if the U takes 2 per year for three after this year that will not cripple the program and we continue on rebuilding. Whomever is behind this plan looks very smart right now. Has to be Golden, shalalalala is not that smart and we need to fire her now.

The time is now.. 5>3>2 & ltcdolphin I agree.. handle our business now, and show good faith by working with the NCAA.

Miami will not be punished with severe sanctions that would affect our program on the words of a "CON".

The rebuilding plan is in place and working regardless.

This is a smart, commonsense way to plan. Scholies and exposure for the young Class are huge..incentives to teh incoming Class of new 'Canes.

Good job...'U'.
Go 'Canes

Manny, you need to get into shape this offseason. No more People's BBQ.

When Miami receives that slap on the wrist and continue on like nothing happened you haters will be up in arms telling everybody how unfair it all is while you conjured up the severity of the situation in your pea sized brains.

Welcome to THE U Duke! Welcome to THE U Malcolm Lewis! You two should replace Lamar Miller and Streeter perfectly! Keep reeling in those ballers for the future Golden while FSwho UFag play in their respectable weedeater bowl games.

Posted by: Fighting Ibis | December 17, 2011 at 09:49 AM

Bloody whatever, DORK!

If Miami, F-L-A is going to " RECEIVE A TINY SLAP " on the hand, then WHY DID The Golden One and the A.D. and the university President say NO WAY HOSE to a bowl game this season. dUh.

U'all Cane bUbba's be plain simple SIMON SIMPLETON's when it comes down to being LOYAL SUPPORTERS of the Hurricane pigskin program.

No wonder, Hurricane fanhood be the bloody LAUGHING stock of major college fandom. For the B.C.S. college fans absolutely KNOW, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Miami bUbba's be FAIRWEATHER, BANDWAGON yahoo's. Albeit sUburban bUbba's.

I'll be back to tell U'all Cane rUffians... I told you so. When the National CORRUPT Athletic Association hits The Golden One's MEDIOCRE program with DOUBLE-DIGIT scholarhip losses.

And too bad Miami couldn't recruit ELEVEN more Johnson's. Because the Hurricanes are going to need every solid-on-down brotha' on the roster.

The Golden One's PROCESS entails recruiting and signing THREE-STAR " potential-laden " prep players, which indicates FOUR or FIVE seasons until Miami becomes Top 20 worthy. No not Top 10 worthy... Top 20 worty. dUh.

Miami's penalties will not be worse than USC's. USC continued to be evasive and defiant. UM has done the exact opposite. Looking forward to seeing Duke Johnson. No need in bashing Lamar. The dude is going to get a JOB. I think that's why u go to school.


You were a f#cking idiot on Canespace and an even bigger idiot her at the Herald blog. How did Randy the savior work out for you moron? All that talent and he got zero out of them because Randy was incompetent. I see you're still mad Miami got a real HC who knows how a football is supposed to be ran.

So let's talk about your delusional conjured up death penalty shall we? Of course Miami gave up the weedeater bowl to appease the NCAA to lighten the penalty. I didn't say there would be no penalty. I said there would be a slap on the wrist, but reading comprehension isn't a skill set you possess, ya dig? Miami has cooperated fully from the beginning where they self reported Nevin Shapiro, ya dig? Then when the NCAA came down and realized Shapiro was a fraud the players received very minimal penalties. One game suspensions for the majority of the players penalized is minimal, ya still wit me dog, or you having da brain pains my man?

Keep spreading your stupidity around with the village idiots on here. You fit in quite nicely. When that slap on the wrist cometh remember who took your ass to school just like I used to on the Space, ya dig?

Hi im macjones and I know everything about Canes football even though I am a Cornsuckers fan
Go bloody figUre bUbba Cane rUffians EH!!!!!

I saw Duke play as a junior. The guy is the real deal. I tend to agree that the sanctions won't be terrible. Maybe five scholarships reduced for a couple seasons and one bowl game (done already). UM should be fine. But better than FSU? No way, bro.

At least I have a home over at EOTH where all those experts are at
Only there will you find people that have inside info like them
From a recruiting guy who is wrong 99% of the time to an online lawyer to professional mumblers
We love to chat about how drunk we get each and everyday even though we have real jobs
Only at my blog home can we brag about drinking and driving
Now thats real bUbbas and rUffians over there ya dig EH!! Well do you

One other thing Macjones, Randy is part of the reason the NCAA is on Miami's campus. His players were a part of the problem or did the minor penalties they received not give you a clue? Hell the only thing that incompetent fool had going for him was he was supposedly a strict disciplinarian and he couldn't even get that right.

Sit back and watch how it's how done foo-L. Goldens got this. He'll actually develop the talent he brings unlike Randy "uh you know I can't talk about that Joe" Shannon.

Don't hold your breath DORK aka f.i., because as I said on Friday. The N.C.A.A. absolutely said NO WAY HOSE to Ojomo getting a bloody SIXTH YEAR.

Again, with absolutely NO DEPTH on the DL and suspect corners and suspect LB's returning ( Yeah, yeah Perryman is the bloody exception to the rule. ), The Golden One's MEDIOCRE program is looking at 7-5 next season.

And I bloody well tout 7-5, because the ETERNAL OPTIMIST in moi doesn't know any better. Eh.

Of course bUbbas you have to realize im a fan of the cleanest program in the nation...the Nebraska Cornsuckers
Of course ive never seen a Hurricane game but I still know bloody more then you rUffians do, ya dig
Dont make me go over to EOTH and never come back here again rUffians

So Mac, is that all you got? Not going to add anything other than bloody this or ya dig that?

Calling me a dork was a great comeback you mental midget. Facts! Miami self reported. NCAA investigated and the players received minimal penalties. Miami self imposed a bowl ban which will go towards the slap on the wrist they receive. Miami has a new AD and entirely new staff so the NCAA will take that into consideration when doling out the punishment. Nevin Shapiro is a con-man who has been caught in more lies than telling the truth through this whole investigation. Miami has been working with the NCAA and holding back nothing through the whole ordeal.

Those are the facts MAC! Your BS is just that, BS! You are still mad your black HC was exposed for being the failure that he is as a HC. Golden is only getting 3 star players MAC? Duke Johnson? Malcolm Lewis? Randy couldn't touch Miramar as a HC because he couldn't string together a coherent sentence to sell his vision MAC. Ya dig?

By the way, Goldens no star players at Temple went in the 1st round MAC. Golden had one 3 star recruit the entire time he coached at Temple MAC. If this Miami team had Temples defense this year we're a 10 win team. I'm sure his recruits will do just fine because Golden actually knows how to coach. He knows how to get in his players heads and bring the most out in them. That's where his Masters Degree in Sports Psychology comes in handy MAC. I don't think Randy could even spell Psychology MAC. Ya dig?

Yes MAC, your incompetent HC Randy Shannon almost completely destroyed this program due to his incompetence. I guess we do agree on something. Yes, Golden has his work cut out for him to fix all those years of incompetence. Yes, Miami will lack depth because Randy couldn't recruit to save his life. How long was he going to go without recruiting CB's MAC? Funny how you mention the NCAA wouldn't permit Ojomo to get his 6th year which isn't a guarantee to begin with but forget to mention he missed one of those seasons because he got his ass knocked out by a walk-on because Randy couldn't even control his locker room. Did your stupid ass forget about all of that MAC? Oh no, it was just the racist NCAA deciding Ojomo was black and it's Miami right?

What else you got moron?

Great performance Duke, can't wait to see you in a Cane uniform. All hail to the Duke.

Get some new material MAC...

The whole thing revolves around 'alck of institutional control' and whether or not they consider the canes to be 'repeat' offenders. If the investigators go back to 2002, then it will be hard not to see a lack of institutional control.

Most cane bloggers here have blinders on and only see what is clear and obvious in front of them. The administration's legal team have been spinning and obscurring the depth and breadth of the findings in order to maintain the status quo for as long as possible.

I really feel bad for these young recruits who may be walking into a hornets nest and get stuck there for their entire college careers. Believe the high priced attornies at your own peril.

Yes MAC, your incompetent HC Randy Shannon almost completely destroyed this program due to his incompetence

But I thunk Larry Cocker CHIT-CANNED the once mighty Hurricane pigskin program. Go figures.

The whole thing revolves around 'alck of institutional control' and whether or not they consider the canes to be 'repeat' offenders. If the investigators go back to 2002, then it will be hard not to see a lack of institutional control.

Most cane bloggers here have blinders on and only see what is clear and obvious in front of them. The administration's legal team have been spinning and obscurring the depth and breadth of the findings in order to maintain the status quo for as long as possible.

I really feel bad for these young recruits who may be walking into a hornets nest and get stuck there for their entire college careers. Believe the high priced attornies at your own peril.

Posted by: ex-cane fan | December 17, 2011 at 12:30 PM

I absolutely believe ex-cane rowdy was EXCLUSIVELY addressing this notion to fighting ibis and his lame arse henchmen. Eh.

Like I mentioned earlier, there's a bloody SIGNIFICANT reason why the powers that be at Miami said NO WAY bUbba to the bowl game this season.

Hey ex,
OSU's players were kicked off the team. Miami's players were given minimal suspensions. Most of the allegations provided by Nevin have been proven to be complete BS. The facts are that Nevin was a booster who wanted to get close to players and he wasn't as successful as he lets on. He's no different than any other booster at any other major program. The players basically bumped into him and got a dinner and shirt. Give me a break! UFag has 30+ players arrested under Urban and the NCAA doesn't even sniff around for lack of institutional control. Which is worse? This whole fiasco is complete BS and the NCAA will slap Miami on the wrist when it's all said and done. You doom and gloomers who are blowing the whole thing out of proportion based on lies from a con-man are going to look silly when all is said and done.

These recruits are going to go to Miami and be coached up by a great coach while receiving a great education at a top 50 institution. Why would you feel bad for them? Something tells me you were never a Cane fan and are just trolling hard.

Wow! Me and MAC agree agree once again. Yes, Larry Coker was just as incompetent as Randy Shannon. But at least Larry could spell incompetent.

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