Duke Johnson on improved 40 time: 'I knew I could do better'

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – University of Miami running back Duke Johnson was all business during the school's annual pro day.

Unlike many of his college teammates and draft counterparts, Johnson believed he had a lot to prove after not performing up to expectations at the NFL combine. He was most bothered by his 40-yard-dash time of 4.59 seconds in February.

But Johnson ran faster Wednesday and met his personal expectations. He ran the 40 in 4.47, bench-pressed 225 pounds 18 times and caught the ball well out of the backfield.

Despite a good day overall, Johnson was most happy about shaving time off his 40-yard dash.

“I knew I could do better,” Johnson said after the pro day. “I know I trained too hard to run what I ran at the combine. But I think my game speed speaks for itself. I wanted to make sure I came out here and showed that I can do it.”

Johnson had a stellar career at Miami. He finished as the school’s all-time leading rusher at a position with a history of top stars such as Edgerrin James, Willis McGahee, Clinton Portis and Ottis Anderson.

There are plenty of stats and game film to validate Johnson as one of the top tailback prospects in the draft. He is projected to go in the second or third round. But Johnson also did himself a favor by giving scouts one less thing to pick apart.

According to the University of Miami’s athletic department, all 32 NFL teams were represented Wednesday.

“Last year there were teams out here, but I don’t think it was all 32 teams,” Johnson said. “To come out here and watching all the guys come out, compete and work hard to show what they can do at the next level is a great feeling, especially when you have alumni come out, as many as possible, to support us.”

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