Despite some big plays over the last three seasons, Texas Longhorns senior wide receiver Daje Johnson is more known for his inability to stay on the field after multiple injuries and suspensions than his ability to stay on it, so it was surprising when he announced the recent release of a rap single called "Dealer" that features explicit content:
The single is part of Johnson's forthcoming EP called "Unusual."
Suffice it to say that the single didn't go over so well on social media and not because of the heavy dosage of autotune.
Beyond the fact that Johnson is spending some of his time making music, the bigger concern is with the ramifications of the content. Talking about dealing drugs is hardly evidence that Johnson is or has done so himself (or is even using them), but he's run afoul of former head coach Mack Brown and current head coach Charlie Strong enough times to magnify the decision to make the single and easily cast it into an issue.
Johnson eventually apologized for posting it before getting a little more cheeky on Thursday afternoon:
I apologize for my prior post Dealer. I assure you that I'm still focused on my goals this season...... I just make music for fun— Daje' Johnson (@BL4CKM4KO) July 8, 2015
Now that I have everyone's attention through controversy, I can show you my real music....— Daje' Johnson (@BL4CKM4KO) July 9, 2015
Is it all a sign that Johnson is back to his old, error-prone ways? If so, it would seemingly represent a regression from the spring, when Strong praised the speedster for his increased maturity, though he did so while jokingly wishing he could knock on wood.
"Man, he has come a million miles," Strong said in March. "I think that it was probably July, a year ago, and we had a talk. I think at that time I had suspended him like five or six games. I said to him, you have to prove to me you want to be here. And at that time he said to me: 'I'll tell you what, I will not be in your doghouse again.' So, I'm hoping that he sticks to it."
Strong's track record suggests that he's willing and able to handle the situation as it merits, but his attitude towards Johnson tells the tale of the Pflugerville Hendrickson's career, as did Strong's dig that he tells Johnson that he hasn't made a play in two years, since his punt return touchdown against Oklahoma.
Perhaps Johnson will finally begin to maximize his significant potential this season despite the distraction of his musical interests, but it's extremely difficult to trust him given his injuries and off-field issues resulting from his immaturity. Yet, the Texas offense badly needs playmakers and Johnson has game-changing speed.
So will the real Daje Johnson please stand up? Strong surely hopes that he hasn't already.