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Penn State adds top WPIAL prospect and Maryland athlete

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Belle Vernon’s Dorian Johnson commits to PSU

Penn State ended June by getting two major recruiting commitments from athletes out of Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Belle Vernon offensive tackle Dorian Johnson, one of the most highly-coveted recruits in the East, committed to Penn State in late June, choosing the Nittany Lions over Pitt, West Virginia and Ohio State. He also had scholarship offers from Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame and South Carolina, among others.

Zach Bradshaw, an athlete out of Damascus High School in Maryland, gave Penn State a commitment on June 29.

The 6-6, 285-pound Johnson is considered to be one of two elite offensive line prospects in western PA, along with North Allegheny’s Sean Kugler, who committed to Purdue in the spring. While Kugler is more polished, Johnson is thought to have the highest ceiling of perhaps any player in the state of Pennsylvania in the class of 2013.

Johnson, who runs the 40-yard dash in 4.9 seconds, is the first WPIAL player to commit to new Penn State coach Bill O’Brien. Pitt, Johnson’s other top finalist, was thought to have an in with new Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph, a Belle Vernon alum.
On the end, Penn State’s campus, coaching staff and Saturday atmosphere won out for Johnson.

“I was comfortable with both schools and their coaching staffs,” Johnson told the Tribune-Review’s Kevin Gorman. “I like Penn State’s campus and felt like I would get a good education. You’re playing big-time football.”

The 6-3, 205-pound Bradshaw was one of the most recruited players in the state of Maryland. He chose the Nittany Lions over offers from Arizona, West Virginia, Michigan, South Carolina and at least ten others. Bradshaw is a versatile athlete who can project as a linebacker, wide receiver, safety or even a tight end at the next level.

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