Dorian Johnson Names Three Finalists

By Rick Stavig

Former Penn State Nittany Lions commit Dorian Johnson has officially trimmed his list down to three.

Johnson, from Belle Vernon, Pa., was once considered a lock for Penn State.  Granted, Penn State faced some eager competition from the Pitt Panthers for this big man, 6’6’’ 280lbs, but the prestige of Happy Valley was too much to turn down.

Then came the infamous sanctions that sent shockwaves through central Pennsylvania.

One by one, what was considered as one of the top recruiting classes nationally, has been getting picked away in the wake of the penalties.

Johnson is one of the guys who didn’t want to take part in that lengthy rebuilding process.

Johnson was then uncommitted from Penn State about two months after he gave a verbal commitment, and has now trimmed his final list down to three schools: Pitt, Ohio State and Virginia Tech.

Whoever signs this big man should consider themselves lucky.  Johnson is one of the more athletic linemen in the country, boasting a sub 4.9 40 yard dash while at an athletic 280lbs.  Johnson has offers from all over the country. While he could play wherever he wants, he is choosing to play for a BCS school within driving distance from his home in southwestern Pennsylvania.

As of now, the only official visit Johnson has setup is with Ohio State for the first weekend in October to see the Buckeyes take on Nebraska.  Johnson has said that he will also take official visits to see the Panthers, as well as traveling south to Blacksburg Virginia to see the Hokies.

I think Pitt could be the team to beat here.  His original list had the Panthers in the top two, and he’s grown up in the heart of Panther country.  Not only that, Johnson was watching the Panthers beat a very good Virginia Tech team last weekend while in Pittsburgh on an unofficial visit.

This would be an excellent fit for the kind of offensive line that Head Coach Paul Chryst is trying to build at Pitt.  Remember, Chryst is coming from Wisconsin, where they breed offensive linemen, and he wants that same power running game that the Badgers employ.

So to the Panthers, the Buckeyes and the Hokies, good luck.  It’s going to be a battle to get Johnson, and whoever comes out on top is going to have a very good offensive lineman on their team the next few years.

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