UA Defection to Deion Sanders Admitted a No-No in Transferring

Deion Sanders, Taurean Carter, Arkansas football, Colorado football
photo credit: Colorado Athletics / Nick Wenger

Arkansas football coach Sam Pittman sounded pretty comfortable with where his roster was as the Razorbacks wrapped up spring practice a couple weeks ago.

“I had a talk with our team and I said, ‘Hey, if we just don’t lose anybody that we have and don’t add anybody, we’re going to have us a fine football team,’” Pittman remarked after the spring game.

Instead, the Hogs have lost seven more players to the transfer portal since then. That includes a trio of unrelated former Razorbacks with the same last name – running back Dominique Johnson and a pair of defensive backs in Lorando “Snaxx” Johnson and RJ Johnson.

Dominique totaled 785 rushing yards across his career at Arkansas, but dealt with numerous injury issues, including a torn ACL. Snaxx transferred in from Baylor and tallied 29 tackles and an interception in his lone season at Arkansas. RJ, a three-star prospect out of high school, appeared in just one game last season on special teams.

Dominique is uncommitted, while Snaxx has since announced his return to Baylor – despite announcing his return to Arkansas back in January. After losing his starting spot during spring ball to Tennessee transfer Doneiko Slaughter, he hit the portal and returned to Waco.

“I was tripping gang my bad,” Snaxx tweeted. “I’m back tho.”

RJ’s new destination, however, is by far the most interesting of the Johnson trio.

Colorado to Arkansas Pipeline Still Open for Business

RJ Johnson announced his commitment to Colorado on Wednesday afternoon. He becomes the fourth Razorback to transfer to Boulder since Colorado football coach Deion Sanders took over as the Buffaloes’ head coach, alongside defensive linemen Taurean Carter and Jordan Domineck and defensive back Myles Slusher.

The cases of Domineck and Carter are both humorous examples of the parts of the transfer portal that get the most flak from fans of college athletics. Last offseason, Domineck announced his return to Arkansas after the season ended before reversing course and departing for Colorado less than a month later when Coach Prime came calling.

Just a few months ago, Carter took the portal madness up a notch by initially committing to SMU before flipping to Colorado and making a head-scratching admission. Last season, many Arkansas fans were fed up with what appeared to be a lack of effort from the team in the midst of a losing season. After transferring to the Buffaloes, Carter said the quiet part out loud.

“I knew I wanted to come to Colorado before I transferred,” Carter said in January. “I had CU always in my mind to where if they offered me I would not hesitate to take it.”

Yikes. A player openly admitting that he already had the portal on his mind before the season was even over is definitely not a good look for Carter or the program as a whole.

Of course, when it comes to optics, something like this is a few orders of magnitude lower in cringe factor than what Deion Sanders has been doing as the supposedly mature leader of Colorado football program.

Fourteen scholarship Buffaloes have entered the transfer portal since the start of the spring transfer period on April 16, according to ESPN.

That is in addition to the 12 players who entered the portal from November to March. 

Sanders has been butting into online back-and-forths that he wasn’t even initially included on, including one between a current Colorado player and former Buff who’d left via the portal. He injected himself into another verbal skirmish by taking up for his son, Shedeur Sanders: “He will be a top 5 pick… Where yo son going ? Lololol I got time today. Lolol.”

Reinforcements on the Way

Fortunately, as the Head Hog himself once said, “the portal giveth and the portal taketh away.” Arkansas is working the other end of that two-way street to bolster its ranks for the upcoming season. The latest addition is a reinforcement to the linebacker room in Marshall transfer Stephen Dix Jr.

Lose three Johnsons, add Dix.

The Orlando, Fla., native tallied 67 tackles for the Thundering Herd last season. The 6-foot-1, 237-pounder was a four-star prospect out of high school who started his career at Florida State. He will be a redshirt junior in the upcoming season, and will look to compete in a room that features talented players like sophomore Brad Spence and Georgia transfer Xavien Sorey Jr.

Blessed with a last name like that, Dix presents endless possibilities for sideline antics depending on his neighbor. It wouldn’t be the first time at Arkansas that certain surnames have made for some humorous sideline snapshots. The same bit has recurred at other schools in college football, as well as with a former Razorback in the NBA.

Just think of the possibilities for Dix this fall, depending on which teammates he befriends. Cameron Ball? Classic. Doneiko Slaughter? Ouch. Var’keyes Gumms? Oh goodness.

Fortunately for Pittman, Arkansas is still well-stocked in the Johnson department even after the three departures, as defensive backs Jayden Johnson and Ahkhari Johnson are still holding it down.

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