TribLIVE

| Sports

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Belle Vernon standout chooses Pitt

ACC Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Belle Vernon lineman Dorian Johnson.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

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 jdipaola@tribweb.com or 412-320-7997.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Pitt

  1. As college football training camps open, defenses fall under microscope
  2. Pitt, McConnell-Serio agree to new contract through 2020-21 season
  3. Pitt’s Blair faces court date on DUI charge