What’s Really So “Tripping” about Snaxx Johnson’s Odd Loyalty to Baylor

Credit: Craven Whitlow

Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.

Besides being the title sequence of one of the most popular daytime soap operas of the last 50 years, it is also fitting to use for keeping up with all of the myriad of additions and defections to Arkansas’ sports teams.

Most recently in football, Lorando ‘Snaxx’ Johnson, after spending one season in Fayetteville as a member of the Razorbacks’ secondary, has decided to head back to Waco after originally transferring from the Baylor football program.

“I was tripping gang my bad,” he Tweeted. “I’m back tho.”

Boomeranging back after a single season seems like an odd decision on its own. It comes off as stranger yet considering the defensive back already went through spring drills with the Razorbacks and waited until nearly May to get out of Dodge.

But the weirdest part of all may be how well liked he was by his Arkansas football teammates and how he broadcast that he was ‘all Hog’ on his very active social media accounts. Check out the clip below from late March and nothing about the way he’s cutting it up on the sideline would suggest this is a man looking to bail.

Did he only just wake up in recent weeks and realize he was “tripping” after more than a year of being happy with his move? He even wrote ‘stay the course’ on his eye black for games last season.

So much for weathering adversity, Snaxx.

Snaxx Johnson Needed Some of That Baylor Football Easiness

Now Johnson is going to head back to the Big 12 and play for Baylor football coach Dave Aranda next season with no consequences. He won’t have to sit out a year and could essentially just slip right back into the role he had with them in 2022.

The fact Johnson is returning to the same school does make it harder for Arkansas football fans to accuse him of being as disloyal as some may like to. Still, if he was just going to go back to Baylor anyway, why did he leave in the first place?

It’s almost like breaking up with your girlfriend who has been with you since the beginning, going out and finding a new suitor, figuring out that maybe that person is out of your league (e.g. SEC vs. Big 12) and then deciding to go home, begging your ex to take you back.

Players should be allowed to transfer, certainly. If coaches can flirt with other jobs every offseason and have their agent float their name out for raises, or even decide to take other jobs after pledging their allegiance to their previous school, then the players should have that same leverage as well.

But without much regulation at all, which is how the current landscape stands as is, it’s basically open free agency. The Wild West, if you will.

There’s really no stopping a player from doing a collegiate tour. They could attend four different schools in four years right now, if they wanted.

The flip side of the coin of the Snaxx situation is a guy like Vito Calvaruso wandering back into the Arkansas football program after a season elsewhere. With him being a kickoff specialist, it doesn’t get the attention of social media or the fan base as much, but still.

Johnson only has one year of eligibility remaining, but let’s say the NCAA gods hypothetically granted him an extra year and that next offseason ol’ Snaxx decided to go tripping again. Baylor ends up not getting him the NIL he wants, or he gets benched midseason after a bad performance.

Maybe he would end up at Florida State or Clemson? Or perhaps would head west to play at USC or UCLA in the Big Ten?

If I’m Aranda and his Baylor football staff, I would’ve been asking for some type of commitment from Snaxx Johnson other than some social media brownie points upon taking him back this time. It was one thing to leave once, but letting him get away again would be foolhardy.

Arkansas Football’s Conundrum

Even if the NCAA came in and put some sort of parameters in place, Pandora’s box has already been opened.

The transfer portal isn’t going to be closed. Players are still going to leave. They could probably even re-institute the old rule where a player has to sit out for a year before becoming eligible, and those players would just get fat and sassy on NIL and not have to go through the grueling 12-game schedule.

It might take a guy who isn’t NFL material per se 7 years to get a degree because he went to three schools and had to sit out each time. People who aren’t athletes have been doing that for a while. The ‘super senior’ phenomenon was a thing well before COVID-19.

It’s getting easier to accept all the churn as the new “normal” when players leave in the winter transfer portal window and it was expected. But guys like Snaxx Johnson leaving so late in the process, and after being so outspoken about staying, are just walking cases of cognitive dissonance. Their situations will never come across as “normal.” 

In general, getting to know the players is an exercise in futility at this point because most of them aren’t going to stick around.

The days of running through a wall for a guy who said there’s a lot of lions, tigers and bears, but there’s only one Razorback, are over. Very few, if any, players are picking the University of Arkansas because they grew up Arkansas football fans in the state and always wanted to be one.

Just look at the recently completed NFL Draft. Not a single player from the state of Arkansas was selected in any of the seven rounds.

The other states with zero? Alaska, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wyoming.

Translation? It’s going to take portal guys from other places and NIL money to attract the talent that the Razorback football program desperately needs. If that means going back to the well and opening the door to more boomerang guys like Johnson or Calvaruso, then so be it. 

This is certainly no time to be too picky.


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