Belle Vernon lineman decommits from Penn State
Dorian Johnson, a highly touted offensive tackle from Belle Vernon, has decommitted from Penn State.
The 6-foot-6, 285-pound rising senior said he informed Nittany Lions coach Bill O'Brien of his decision during a phone call Tuesday evening.
“It was a real short conversation,” Johnson said. “He didn't really say much. He did say that he respected my decision and wished me luck.”
Johnson said he had been thinking about the decision “nonstop” since the sanctions against Penn State were announced.
“I knew they were going to get hit, but they got hit real hard,” he said. “I wasn't expecting all that.
“The top two things for me were the bowl game ban and the scholarship losses.”
The NCAA announced a four-year postseason ban as well as a reduction of 10 initial and 20 total scholarships each year over the four years.
Johnson is a four-star recruit and the 23rd-best offensive tackle prospect in the Class of 2013, according to Rivals.com.
With his recruiting reopened, he said Pitt and Ohio State are again finalists, as well as Virginia Tech.
“I'm probably going to reach out to those schools tomorrow,” Johnson said. “I know they're in the middle of camps, so I don't really want to bother them.
“I'm going to look into Virginia Tech a little bit more, maybe arrange a visit. In September I can start my official visits.”
Johnson said although he opened his recruiting, he is primarily focused on one thing.
“This upcoming season is my focus,” Johnson said. “I can't wait to start. I think we have a great team. That's where my focus is at.”
Earlier Tuesday, Penn State lost another recruit from its 2013 class. Maryland linebacker/wide receiver Zach Bradshaw gave a verbal commitment to Virginia.
Bradshaw, who's from Damascus, verbally committed to Penn State in late June.
Five players have decommitted from Penn State's 2013 class, including cornerback Ross Douglas, defensive lineman Greg Webb and wide receiver Will Fuller, since the NCAA sanctioned the school's football team. There are nine players left in the class.
Staff writer Scott Brown contributed to this report. Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2667 or firstname.lastname@example.org.