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Pitt loses top lineman prospect to Penn State | June

Can't think of a creative lede. What a gut punch (via Philly.com):

Dorian Johnson became the 12th member of the Nittany Lions' recruiting class for 2013, according to recruiting websites.

Johnson, from Belle Vernon, Pa., has been on campus many times, but visited with his family this weekend. He planned to stay close to home and chose Penn State over Pittsburgh. He lives about three hours from State College.

Among his other offers were Alabama, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Wisconsin.

Just absolutely brutal for Pitt. Either a four- or five-star offensive line prospect depending on your preference on recruiting services. Because he picked Penn State, he'll hereby be referred to as a four-star - I'm sure he's devastated.

There's really no way to understate how bad this loss is for Pitt. Here's a local, elite guy at a position of tremendous need that the staff just happens to be known for developing into NFL first round picks. Pitt signed just one lineman each of the last two classes and currently only has one on board for 2013. The Panthers had reportedly been in the lead and many observers are shocked that he didn't pull the trigger for Pitt.

And that it happened this weekend hurts just a little more (via the Trib):

“(The Sandusky case) didn’t have anything to do with my decision at all,” Johnson said. “I like that the new staff and the football program is going in a new direction.”

Johnson said he ultimately picked Penn State over Pitt, which he visited a dozen times, despite a strong relationship with Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph, a Belle Vernon alum.

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

Oof. I don't think he meant anything by the "big-time football" comment, but that certainly twists the dagger in the psyche of Pitt fans.

That being said, this is no time to panic. Pitt's had the worst two years or so in recent memory, of course there were going to be repercussions. Having roughly 30 head coaches in 30 months doesn't really lend itself to the relationship building necessary for effective recruiting.

After the surprise commitment of Corey Clement, there was a lot to feel good about in Pitt recruiting. Pitt had just snagged a very good running back, four-star QB Tra'Von Chapman seemed like a lock and Dorian Johnson seemed to be all but signed.

Amazing how things change in one weekend.