Distance has always been a factor for Belle Vernon (Pa.) offensive tackle Dorian Johnson.
On his ride home from an unofficial visit to Penn State on Saturday, the five-star prospect decided that Happy Valley was just close enough to home to spend the next four years of his life.
On Sunday, he committed to the Nittany Lions.
"We went up for the visit yesterday and on the ride home I just had this feeling," said Johnson. "I liked the comfort level and I realized that I could get a top education and have that tradition. When you go to Penn State you play the top level of football and still get that education.'
The 6-foot-6, 270-pound prospect chose Penn State over additional finalists Ohio State, West Virginia and hometown Pittsburgh. The Panthers had long been considered the team to beat due to their proximity to home and his repeated visits to Oakland. In addition to his final four, Johnson also had scholarship offers from Alabama, Notre Dame, Wisconsin and Virginia Tech, among others.
"I talked to (London and head coach Bill O'Brien) about an hour ago," he said. "They were real excited and they didn't expect it."
The Nittany Lions were able to sway not only Johnson, led by the effort of recruiting contact Charles London, but also his family. His mother, grandmother and sister accompanied him on his visit on Saturday.
"They loved it, they're real excited about it and they're real happy for me," he said.
Rated the No. 2 prospect in Pennsylvania behind Central Valley wide receiver Robert Foster, Johnson checks in as the No. 12 overall prospect in the country. He is also the No. 2 offensive tackle nationally.