CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Junior running back Duke Johnson and senior linebacker Denzel Perryman were among those recognized as semifinalists for two major college football awards, the Maxwell Football Club announced Monday.
Johnson was named a semifinalist for the 78th Maxwell Award for the Collegiate Player of the Year, while Perryman earned the same distinction for the 20th Chuck Bednarik Award for the Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year.
The respective lists include a field of 20 candidates for awards, as selected by the Maxwell Football Club National Selection Committee.
Johnson has emerged as one of the top running backs in the country with a dominant junior campaign. The Miami Norland HS alum has 1,213 rushing yards – the sixth most nationwide – while leading the ACC and ranking second in the nation with 1,486 all-purpose yards. With a dominant performance in Saturday’s win over North Carolina, Johnson moved past Edgerrin James and James Jackson for second place in program history with 3,080 rushing yards.
Johnson is just 252 rushing yards away from setting a new program record, and already serves as Miami’s all-time all-purpose yards leader. Johnson was one of just three semifinalists for the Maxwell Award from the ACC, joining Pittsburgh running back James Conner and Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston.
Perryman added semifinalist recognition for the Bednarik Award after earning the same distinction for the Butkus Award – given to the nation’s top linebacker – last month. Perryman leads all Hurricanes with 72 total tackles across his nine starts, including team-high totals of 51 solo tackles and 21 assisted takedowns. Perryman also has 5.0 tackles for loss, two sacks, two forced fumbles, four pass break-ups and one interception.
Perryman is 15 stops away from cracking the list as one the top 10 most prolific tacklers in Miami program history. Perryman was one of three semifinalists for the Bednarik Award from the ACC, joining Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley and Louisville’s Gerod Holiman.
Miami was one of just 10 programs with a semifinalist for both the Maxwell Award and Bednarik Award.