Can Dorian Johnson start for Pitt in 2013?

There's little doubt that offensive tackle Dorian Johnson was the biggest recruit for Pitt this year. So will the freshman have a chance to start in the fall? It's early, but come on - the thought's crossed your mind as well.

Head coach Paul Chryst sounds like he will give Johnson that chance:

The linchpin is Johnson, a 6-5, 290-pound star from Belle Vernon (Pa.) High considered one of the top line prospects in the country. Chryst called the high school film on Johnson "as good as you’ll see from an o-lineman" and believes he can make an immediate impact.

"He’s going to get an opportunity, absolutely," Chryst said. "He’s a special player."

If Johnson starts, he'll have to knock off some older players with experience. Juantez Hollins, who was projected as a starter before his suspension, should be back. As will Cory King who took his place and the right tackle, Matt Rotheram. In addition, there's Adam Bisnowaty who is expected to be an impact player. King could move back to guard, I suppose, but even if that happens, the point is that Johnson will have some competition.

None of that is to suggest that Johnson won't be a better player than all of the aforementioned guys. Only that as a true freshman, he'll be going up against players with much more experience - seniors Hollins and King, the junior Rotheram, and the redshirt freshman Bisnowaty (who, by the way, Chris Jacobson recently said he believes will be a four-year starter).

I'm not sure he'll start right away, but it sounds as if he'll get a chance to compete as a starter.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics.

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