Frank Gore talks UM tradition, Duke Johnson

The sight of former Hurricanes greats on Miami’s campus has become somewhat routine. And plenty of them were there again Wednesday for Miami's Pro Day.

But even by UM’s standards, Wednesday’s parade of former Miami standouts was noticeable, especially for fans of running backs.

As Duke Johnson, the Hurricanes’ all-time leading rusher worked out for the 32 NFL teams that attended Pro Day on the Greentree Practice Field, he did so under the watchful eyes of Edgerrin James, Clinton Portis and Frank Gore, three of the players he passed in the UM record book.

After his workout, Johnson said that having the opportunity to show off his skills in front of players like those is part of what drove him, not just Wednesday but throughout his UM career.

“It’s a great feeling, especially when you have the alumni, as many that came out as possible to support us,” Johnson said. “I think it pushes us a lot. We see them every now and then when they come in to work out, but actually having them come out here and support us when they don’t have to, it shows that they really care about us.”

And Gore, who signed with Indianapolis last month after a lengthy career in San Francisco that saw him become the 49ers all-time leading rusher, said there’s one big reason former players were in Coral Gables on Wednesday.

“Family,” Gore said. “This is the tradition we have here. I try to come down during my bye week, sometimes during the summer. … this is great to see some of the guys I haven’t seen in a while.”

Gore then praised Johnson’s effort, saying he thinks the former Miami Norland star can be the next great Miami running back in the NFL.

“He’s a tough guy. Very explosive. I like how he plays the game,” Gore said of Johnson. “He plays the game and you can tell he loves the game. Plus, he’s from Miami, man. That’s what we do.”

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