Dorian Johnson is hearing from several schools. The junior offensive lineman out of Belle Vernon (PA) claims verbal offers from Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Toledo, Cincinnati, Maryland, Boston College, Virginia Tech. Most recently, he picked up another from Ole Miss.
"(Monday) was the first day talking to them," Johnson said of the Rebels. "They said they wanted me to come down for junior day, and maybe something in the summer."
As a junior in 2011, Johnson was a two-way starter on the offensive and defensive line. He earned first-team all-conference honors on both sides of the ball, and was an honorable mention all-state selection. Of those eight verbal offers, all except one are recruiting him strictly for offense. Maryland is that one exception—a school Johnson says is open to playing him on either side of the ball.
"The only person I talked to was (defensive line) coach (Greg) Gattuso," Johnson said. "I really haven't talked to anyone else for defense."
It shouldn't be much of a surprise, given Gattuso's track record of converting players from various positions into defensive linemen in both his stay at Pitt and his early Maryland tenure. Regardless of which side of the ball it is, Johnson says he'll head to Maryland at some point.
"I haven't been to Maryland, but they did invite me to their junior day," Johnson said. "I want to get there for a spring practice and see how things are up there."
Pittsburgh was one of the first schools to check on him. Head coach Paul Chryst and linebackers coach Chris Haering stopped by his school.
"They're pretty cool with me," Johnson said. "They seem like they know what they're doing. I did some research on them a little bit."
Johnson will participate in track in the spring, throwing the shotput and the discus. He will also be at the Nike Sparq combine in Ohio next month, and will also be at the National Underclassmen Combine as well.