- Craig Haubert, ESPN Staff Writer
ESPN 150 offensive tackle Dorian Johnson (Belle Vernon, Pa./Belle Vernon) has stated that he wanted to stay close to home and Pitt was able to capitalize on that. A one-time Penn State verbal, the No. 2-rated O-Tackle in the 2013 class, is a big pick-up for Paul Chryst as he works to put together his first full class as the Panthers head coach.
With Johnson, Pitt gets an athletic looking tackle prospect with a tall, lean frame and with some time in the Panthers weight program he should be able to pack on some needed but good mass. If pressed into action quickly, he could experience some growing pains as he develops his game, but this is a kid with very promising upside. He not only looks athletic, but displays the athleticism to be a good college tackle and that athleticism should help him to adapt and be productive if needed early on in his career which he may be. Johnson displays good flexibility as well as balance and agility. He may not be the biggest kid in terms of mass, but is an explosive and powerful kid who can deliver a pop on contact and drive defenders off the ball. He is not only capable of opening up running lanes at the line of scrimmage, but also blocks well on his feet in space and can deal with second-level defenders with similar type crushing results.
You not only like his athleticism, but also that he displays nastiness as a blocker. He looks to need a little more development in his pass pro, but he flashes the tools to develop into a strong pass blocker. He will need to continue to develop and strive for more consistency in his technique, but this is a player with the tools to develop into a very good O-Lineman at the college level.
Pitt recently lost a big commitment when ESPN 300 running back Corey Clement (Glassboro, N.J.) switched his verbal to Chryst’s old employer Wisconsin, but the Panthers rebounded well with an arguably even more impactful addition with the verbal from Johnson.