FAYETTEVILLE — Baylor transfer Lorando Johnson has made a very fast impact at Arkansas.
While his play on the practice fields has been impressive, his nickname Snaxx has also gained interest. On Saturday, Johnson talked about how come his friends and teammates call him Snaxx.
“I like snacks, it speaks for itself,” Johnson said. “It was my freshman year of college at Baylor. We were in fall camp and I pulled some snacks out of my bag for meetings. I was a little big, too, so it started as a joke.”
Johnson even revealed what the snacks he pulled out of his bad were.
“I had some hot cheetos,” Johnson said.
While his love of snacks may be a joke, his play on the field has been anything but that. Johnson talked about how his camp has gone through 11 practices.
“The competition in the room, it’s a competition that keeps us all going to keep getting better, because we all respect each other’s game,” Johnson said. “It keeps driving all of us.
“I feel like it was a good group, it just needed that extra help. I feel like I could be the last piece needed to help us go win.”
In addition to getting some first-team reps at cornerback, particularly early on when Quincey McAdoo was injured, Johnson has also played some nickel.
“I’m a football player,” Johnson said. “I don’t really have a position.”
Johnson has surprised some rising up the depth chart that fast. But for Johnson he has a simple solution to understanding why he has moved up so fast.
“Tape,” Johnson said. “The tape speaks for itself.”
Johnson has a teammate, safety-nickel Alfahiym Walcott, who also transferred to Arkansas from Baylor. While Walcott has been out this spring with an injury, he’s expected to be healthy for the season. Was it planned to go to same school?
“It kind of just happened,” Johnson said. “We both had the same schools in mind, so that played out good. Once we started narrowing schools down, it was like we wanted to be there with each other.”
While Johnson isn’t a big talker while being interviewed by the media, he is known for plenty of chatter on the field.
“I bring energy,” Johnson said. “I don’t know if I’m just trash talking. I don’t know. Whatever gets them off (their game). Whatever gives the defense an advantage I will.”
One of the wide receivers who has gone against Johnson a lot in practice is Isaac TeSlaa, who is a transfer himself.
“Super physical and he loves to talk,” TeSlaa said. “But at the end of the day he’s going to dap you up and let you know if you ran a good route, he’s going to let you know. If you’re being physical, he’s going to let you know.”
Another transfer wide receiver, Andrew Armstrong, is also from the Dallas area and knew Johnson prior to Arkansas.
“Snaxx, man,” Armstrong said. “I played 7-on-7 with him. When he was at Lancaster I was at Bishop Dunne, so we used to have 7-on-7 tournaments. That was my first time I ever met Snaxx. Back then, I wasn’t the receiver I am now, so he was really just sitting on everything. I was like, bro, what am I supposed to do?
“This was when I didn’t really know receiver play in depth like I do now. Now, me and him battle. We battle everyday I go against him. We talk about it after practice. Things he can do better, things I can do better just to make each other better. Because at the end of the day, we’re competing against each other, but at the end of the day we’re going to end up going against other teams. So that just helps me and helps him when we talk about things like that.”
Johnson couldn’t single out a receiver who has given him the most trouble in practice. He paid respect to the entire group.
“Really, all of them, really,” Johnson said. “It’s all had good work. There’s nobody that I just go out there and it’s a cakewalk. I’ve got to put my game face on every rep I go out there.”
Have any of the wide receivers gotten the better of you at times this spring?
“Yeah,” Johnson said.
Who was it?
“I can’t give them that much credit,” Johnson said.
At Arkansas, Johnson is playing for Marcus Woodson and Deron Wilson in the secondary. Both are new coaches to the Hogs this season.
“I like them,” Johnson said. “They’re high energy. They match the group real well. I think it’s going to be a good season come fall.”
The Hogs will practice today, Thursday and Friday before wrapping up spring drills at noon on Saturday. The scrimmage Saturday is free and open to the public.