Belle Vernon standout chooses Pitt
By Jerry DiPaola
Published: Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, 7:38 p.m.
Pitt landed one of the top prizes of the 2013 WPIAL recruiting class when Belle Vernon offensive lineman Dorian Johnson told coaches he will enroll next year.
The 6-foot-6, 285-pound Johnson had committed to Penn State earlier this year before changing his mind after the Nittany Lions were hit with a series of NCAA sanctions in light of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
Johnson was unavailable for comment Sunday night while he was concluding his official visit to Pitt with fellow WPIAL four-star recruits Tyler Boyd of Clairton and Rob Foster of Central Valley.
Belle Vernon coach Aaron Krepps said Johnson brought athletic ability and leadership to his football program during his time as a three-year starter.
“The biggest thing was his commitment level,” Krepps said. “It never wavered. His attendance in the offseason programs was outstanding.
“He became more of a vocal leader this year, but everything was by example. He is a kid who would do everything, plus more. He would stay after practice, work extra in the weight room. He was very determined and very focused.”
Krepps said Johnson's physical gifts are obvious.
“He is gifted with his size and strength. He is a very athletic kid for being so large. Great knee bend, great feet, tremendous punch, all those things that have made him a high recruit. He's got a ton of potential.”
Krepps believes Johnson can add weight during his Pitt career.
“He's got a big frame to fill out,” he said.
Johnson had offers from 19 schools, including Alabama, Nebraska, Ohio State, Rutgers, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Wisconsin. He had scheduled a visit to Ohio State next weekend for the Michigan game, but it is not known if those plans will change.
Johnson is the 19th member of Pitt's 2013 recruiting class and the third offensive linemen, including Carson Baker of Fairborn, Ohio, and Aaron Reese of Chambersburg. Coach Paul Chryst is trying to rebuild and reshape his future offensive lines, and all three recruits are 6-5 or taller.
Pitt is losing senior center Ryan Turnley and guard Chris Jacobson from this year's offensive line, and will need to add depth. Johnson, who played tackle at Belle Vernon, could compete for a starting job, but Pitt decided to redshirt 2012 four-star offensive lineman Adam Bisnowaty of Fox Chapel this year.
Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7997.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.