Blue Chip Chat with...Dorian Johnson, Belle Vernon High School
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One of the most imposing linemen you will see on the high school level. Johnson, who has added 25 pounds since last season, is tall with long arms and has the ideal build for a big-time offensive tackle. Rivals.com ranks Johnson the No. 23 offensive lineman in the country and SuperPrep magazine ranks him at No. 20. Johnson has been a starter since his sophomore season.
In June, Johnson made a verbal commitment to Penn State. But a few weeks after Penn State was hit with NCAA sanctions, Johnson told Penn State he wanted to attend college elsewhere and reopened his recruiting. He has many other scholarship offers from Pitt, Ohio State, West Virginia, Alabama and Notre Dame, among others.
Were you always a big kid? I was always the biggest in my class. I was about 6-4 as a freshman and maybe 6 feet in sixth grade.
Did you ever play basketball? Never. I was just never interested in it. Our high school coach tried to get me to come out last season.
You have a lot of scholarship offers. Is there anything left for you to prove this year? Yeah, I just want to have a great season, win a WPIAL championship for my teammates and play hard.
How is this team? I think we're looking pretty good. We have almost everybody back from last year and we have a lot of kids who want to play. I think we'll be pretty good.
Who is the team to beat in your conference? Definitely Thomas Jefferson.
I've heard you love to lift weights? I love lifting. About three months ago I "maxed" out on the bench. I did 400.
Were the NCAA sanctions the reason you changed your mind about Penn State? They were just way too much. I think every college kid playing on a team wants to go to a bowl game. That's the biggest goal.
You called Penn State coach Bill O'Brien yourself to tell him the news. How does that conversation go? I kind of caught him at a bad time. He was going to a meeting. I was on the phone with him for maybe only two minutes. It was kind of awkward. I told him I was sorry and I appreciated him recruiting me, but I was going to play somewhere else. He wished me the best of luck.
A lot of people think Pitt is your No. 1 team now? I'd say Pitt and Ohio State, but I'm going to take some visits.
Your favorite player of all time? I'd say [former Steelers linebacker] Jack Lambert.
Really? I'm surprised you know much about him? My aunt always was a big Jack Lambert fan. She'd put on his tapes and things like that, and I was just always impressed with him.
First Published August 14, 2012 12:00 am