Dorian Johnson to Pittsburgh: Panthers Land Top-Ranked Football Recruit

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistNovember 19, 2012

Photocredit: elevenwarriors.com
Photocredit: elevenwarriors.com

Dorian Johnson decommitted from the Penn State Nittany Lions in early August following the sanctions handed down from the NCAA, but he has decided to play his college ball in Pennsylvania anyway.

According to 247Sports.com recruiting analyst Bob Lichtenfels, Johnson committed to Pittsburgh on Sunday:

5-star Dorian Johnson did texted current commit Scott Orndoff and he has committed to #Pitt

— Bob Lichtenfels (@BobLichtenfels) November 18, 2012

Adding Johnson is a big deal for a Panthers program that has struggled in recent years. He's the 22nd-ranked player in the ESPN 150 and considered the second-best offensive tackle in the nation.

According to ESPN, Johnson also had offers from Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Nebraska, among others. 

Pittsburgh, considering its recent issues on the gridiron, should be happy to haul in Johnson over some of those mentioned schools. The 6'6'', 285-pound behemoth has a projectable frame, and he's only going to get better once he enters a college workout routine.

The Panthers don't have a recruiting class to write home about, but this helps. When you consider returning players like running back Rushel Shell and wide receiver Devin Street for next season, protecting the offense will be a big deal moving forward.

Four underclassmen currently occupy spots on the team's depth chart (via rivals.com), so Johnson will have to wait his turn, but he will get his time to shine eventually.

Sub-par quarterback play cannot be helped to a point but allowing the quarterback to stay upright will go a long way. Adding Johnson ensures that that will be possible in the future and gives the Panthers a big-time recruit to hang their hat on.

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