TribLIVE

| Sports

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

Trib HS Insider Q&A: Belle Vernon's Dorian Johnson

- Belle Vernon Dorian Johnson photographed during practice on August 15, 2012 in Belle Vernon.
Belle Vernon Dorian Johnson photographed during practice on August 15, 2012 in Belle Vernon.
Jim Ference | Valley Independent - Belle Vernon's Dorian Johnson.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Jim Ference  |  Valley Independent</em></div>Belle Vernon's Dorian Johnson.

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Top high school sports

'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.

Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, 11:16 p.m.
 

When the high school football season started, 6-foot-6 Dorian Johnson weighed a hefty 290 pounds.

With the start of WPIAL playoffs approaching, he's down to 270.

“A lot of water, I guess,” said the Belle Vernon senior offensive tackle, who was committed to Penn State but backed out in September following the sanctions levied against the storied Nittany Lions program.

No matter his size, Johnson has been rated a four-star recruit and the 23rd-best offensive tackle prospect in the Class of 2013, according to Rivals.com. Pitt, Ohio State and Virginia Tech are his main targets, now that Penn State isn't an option.

“It's going pretty good,” said Johnson, who recovered a fumble for a touchdown during a 35-0 victory over Albert Gallatin last Friday in the regular-season finale. “It hasn't been as hectic as it was in the summer, now that we've been in the season. I've been talking to their coaches every week.”

Johnson and Belle Vernon (4-5) open the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs Friday at No. 6 Central Valley (7-2), which was upset in its regular-season finale last week by Beaver Falls.

Q: A touchdown for you last week. Is that a lineman's dream?

A: Oh, yes. Ever since my freshman year, it's been a dream to score a touchdown. It was one of my goals. I remember seeing the ball in the end zone. It was a fumble. I ran after it, and I jumped on it. I didn't think I was in the end zone, but I looked up and the referee had his hands up. All I remember after that is my teammates getting excited. I didn't know what to do.

Q: How good does it feel for you guys to have fought your way back into playoff contention late in the season after a slow start and some injuries early on?

A: It definitely feels good. We faced some adversity. It feels good to know we had a shot at it. It's a new season now.

Q: How special would it be for this team to get past the first round of the WPIAL playoffs? After all, Belle Vernon hasn't done that since 2000 (lost in semifinals).

A: It would be a good accomplishment for the seniors to bring that back to Belle Vernon. It would be pretty cool.

Q: Who's been the biggest influence in your life?

A: It was definitely my pap. He passed away two years ago. One thing he said that made an impact on me was when I was 5 years old. It was my first year of playing football. I thought it was too hard and I wanted to quit. He made me go back the next day. That stuck with me.

Q: What advice would you give to young football players?

A: I would just tell them to enjoy every minute you have with it because time really flies by.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Pirates trade for Mariners LHP Happ, Dodgers 1B/OF Morse
  2. Steelers notebook: Officials discuss new game ball procedures
  3. Hurdle: Soria likely to assume setup role with Watson
  4. Pirates place Burnett on 15-day disabled list
  5. Armstrong escapee caught; murder charges pending
  6. Gameday: Pirates at Cincinnati, Aug. 1, 2015
  7. Allegheny County DA’s office: Photo of staffer with gun evidence violates protocol
  8. Police: Lincoln-Lemington burglary suspect shoots self during foot chase with police
  9. MLB notebook: Mets boost lineup, acquire Cespedes from Tigers
  10. West Kittanning church marks 100 years of ups and downs
  11. Heyl: Longtime disc jockey Jimmy Roach to turn dismissal into brighter times