Blue Chip Chat: Johnathan Baldwin

Catching up with the area's top high school football players

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The skinny: One of the best athletes in the state. Last year as a junior, he made the Post-Gazette Fabulous 22 all-star football team and the Fabulous 5 basketball team. In the spring, he finished third in the 100-meter dash at the PIAA Class AA track meet. Baldwin has added about 15 pounds since last season, when he caught 21 passes for 370 yards. Rivals.com ranks him the No. 35 player in the country.

College talk: At one time, Baldwin talked about possibly playing basketball in college, but decided in the spring football was his future sport. Recruited as a receiver by colleges across the country, Baldwin has narrowed his list to Pitt, Florida, Miami, Michigan, Notre Dame and Southern California.

Do you feel like you're better than last year? I think so. I've been a lot more focused because this is my senior year. I know this is the year people will remember you for. I'm doing more, working out more and working harder.

When you were younger, football wasn't your No. 1 sport, was it? I tried to play football when I was younger, but I was always too heavy for my age and couldn't play. Plus, the coaches always wanted to make me a lineman. I'd always tell them to let me play receiver, but they never put me there. Eighth grade was the first time I played organized football.

Your father, Jeff, played at Aliquippa and Pitt. What kind of impact has he had on you as a football player? A lot. He just tells me to work hard and do the extra things.

You went to the U.S. Open golf tournament this year at Oakmont. Do you like golf? Yeah. I played in the Tony Dorsett event this year. I don't go golfing a lot, but I go to the driving range a lot.

Can you hit a ball pretty good? Oh yeah. I almost got the longest drive on one of the holes at the Tony Dorsett event. I think it was about 300 yards. Maybe more than that.

Gatorade or soda? Gatorade, probably red.

Besides you guys, which is the team to beat in the conference? I don't know. I don't think about other teams. I think about us.

Did you learn anything at all this spring when [Aliquippa basketball star] Herb Pope was shot at a party? Yeah, but I already knew you have to keep yourself away from certain things and certain people. Some people are jealous of you and you never know what can happen.

Johnathan Baldwin


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