Johnson named to AAA All-State team
This has not been a normal year for Dorian Johnson, to say the least.
But, all's well that ends well, right?
And all has ended well for the standout Belle Vernon Area senior offensive lineman as he was named to the Pennsylvania Sportswriters Class AAA All-State Football Team Thursday.
Johnson, who was named all-state by another organization as a junior, was the only local player in Class AAA to be honored as such this season.
The year started out with the 6-6, 280-pound Johnson ending a nationwide recruiting battle by committing to Penn State.
Then the Jerry Sandusky case that resulted in harsh penalties for Penn State caused Johnson to pull back his commitment to the Nittany Lions.
Johnson also hoped to anchor a BVA team that was expected to battle for a Big Seven Conference championship. However, the Leps struggled early and appeared on the verge of missing the playoffs all together.
BVA and Johnson rebounded nicely by making the WPIAL playoffs and coming close to upsetting Central Valley in the first round before losing on a last-second field goal.
After the season ended, Johnson announced he was going to Pitt.
And now comes his selection to the all-state team.
Johnson said he was pleased with the honor, saying he worked hard for it.
“I'm a little surprised,” said the soft-spoken giant. “But I worked really hard all season and it is something I appreciate. It's a great honor.”
“That's great news for a great kid,” BVA football coach Aaron Krepps said. “The storybook happy endings are far and few between, but I'm sure he is very proud of what he has accomplished in his time at Belle Vernon Area and I'm proud of the way he went about doing it. He has always done things the right way and with the best of intentions.”
Johnson, who will be playing the Under Armor All-American Game Jan. 4 in Orlando, is BVA's first two-time all-state player in recent memory, said Krepps.
“He's a high-character guy who has a bright future ahead of him,” Krepps said. “I'm excited for him and the opportunities that await him both short-term and long-term. He is very deserving of anything good that comes his way.”
Even though the season did not play out exactly the way he had planned it, Johnson said he has no regrets.
“I still had fun,” he said. “I enjoyed being around my teammates and everyone else involved during the season. I think it was a good year.”
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.