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Photo by Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Texas A&M Football

Mike Elko's early impact has fans hopping back on the bandwagon

January 18, 2024
19,299

Admit it. You were intoxicated by possibilities and potential.

It’s OK. We all were.

We were drinking up the excitement of Texas A&M’s No. 4 final national ranking in the 2020 college football polls followed by a top 10 recruiting class in 2021. Then came the No. 1 class in 2022.

Corks were popped. Spirits were high. Shots were taken.

Unfortunately, they weren’t celebratory shots.

There were shots like Appalachian State, 17-14. South Carolina, 31-28. Auburn, 13-10. Miami, 48-33. Ole Miss, 38-35. LSU, 42-30.

Elite talent produced mediocre results. A&M recruited at the highest level but went 12-13 over the last two seasons. We’d look at the roster. Then we’d look at the results.

After a two-season bender of destructive behavior and excruciating Sunday morning headaches, the smart move was to get off the bandwagon and go on the wagon.

Never again, we said.

Never again assume highly-ranked recruiting classes would bring highly-rated teams. Never again pore over the schedule during the preseason and project easy wins. Never again celebrate anything but actual on-field victories.

Then came a taste of Elko haul. Now, we’re close to falling off the wagon and back onto the bandwagon.

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Elko appeared at a THSCA Board of Directors meeting back in December to renew the relationship with Texas A&M.

The instant positive impact of new head coach Mike Elko has already been written and discussed. He has repaired relationships with Texas high school football coaches. He has dismissed coaches responsible for leading in roles that were struggling. He brought in heralded assistant coaches to update the offense, refine special teams and create a more physical presence through a proven strength and conditioning program.

He has also made a huge impact in the transfer portal. Texas A&M is No. 1 in the nation by 247sports.com in transfer portal team rankings.

Of course, that’s because Elko has bought in 23 transfers. Not all will start. Not all will play. Probably not all will stay.

But most will. Some will provide experienced depth. Some will start.

Elko addressed needs. Purdue transfer Nic Scourton is a pass-rushing beast who led the Big Ten with 10 sacks last season. Cornerback Will Lee had a strong season at Kansas State. Cornerback Jaydon Hill was one of the best players on Florida’s defense. Cornerback Desmond Ricks went to Alabama as a five-star prospect in 2023.

Then came a steady flow of social media announcements from players saying they would return to play for the Aggies in 2023. Rueben Owens, Reuben Fatheree, Bryce Foster, Amari Daniels, Chase Bisontis, Donovan Green, Kam Dewberry, Shemar Stewart and Noah Thomas, among others.

Also, quarterback Conner Weigman will return from injury. The belief here remains that he’s a rising star.

Then, defensive lineman Shemar Turner announced he’d forgo the NFL draft to come back for another season. He’ll anchor what could be one of the premier defensive lines in the nation.

TexAgs
Considered one of Elko’s most important tasks is maintaining the commitment from Bussey, a five-star prospect from Timpson.

Just like that, the roster looks impressive if not loaded.

It will get a boost from an influx of players from a solid recruiting class, which will get a boost if Elko can close out on committed five-star prospect Terry Bussey‍.

But we’ve been let down by loaded rosters before.

However, stories have surfaced that the roster was as tainted as talented. There were naps at practice. Players were said to get frustrated and leave practices. Coaches, too. There apparently was too much entitlement and not enough dedication.

Elko doesn’t strike me as a coach who will allow such behavior. He demonstrated as much by bringing in demanding Strength & Conditioning coach Tommy Moffitt.

The bet here is that Elko runs a much tighter ship than his predecessor. The opinion here is he should cultivate a much better culture.

Consequently, I’ve become much more optimistic about 2024. There’s no intoxication over possibilities. Just sobering thoughts of preseason expectations.

I’m thinking playoffs. Definitely playoffs.

OK, maybe I’m a little tipsy.

Discussion from...

Mike Elko's early impact has fans hopping back on the bandwagon

12,747 Views | 19 Replies | Last: 2 mo ago by babyface
LatinAggie1997
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redjalapeno-87
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alamogeorge
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AG
We kept a list. They're sure to hop back off at Hardluck Station. Fair weather fans.
"You may all go to hell, and I will go to Aggieland!" -Davy Crockett
Detmersdislocatedshoulder
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i think what is exciting to the common fan about mike elkos approach is it is very common sense. in some ways that seemed to be lacking the last few years on a litany of issues. i like that mike elko looked at our roster and has addressed our needs on paper while appearing to incorporate veteran leadership as qualities that are appealing to the culture he is attempting to create. he is off to a really good start on many different fronts but it will come down to W%92s like it always does. only time will tell but i will be watching.
TxAg76
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AG

WC94
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Ag82
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AG
Great summary of where we are at and how we got here. Spring practice is going to be very interesting and the Fall could be legendary!
Meximan
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TxAg76 said:




He's just trying to win a game!
SECTAMU#1
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"However, stories have surfaced that the roster was as tainted as talented. There were naps at practice. Players were said to get frustrated and leave practices. Coaches, too. There apparently was too much entitlement and not enough dedication."

If this was true, then it explains a lot.
Ag in ATL
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AG
SECTAMU#1 said:

"However, stories have surfaced that the roster was as tainted as talented. There were naps at practice. Players were said to get frustrated and leave practices. Coaches, too. There apparently was too much entitlement and not enough dedication."

If this was true, then it explains a lot.

Agreed. The inmates were in charge of the asylum.
AggieBlu
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AG
Yeah because what Jimbo was doing was criminal
I will never understand how someone can tell so many lies and not feel bad about it...
aeon-ag
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alamogeorge said:

We kept a list. They're sure to hop back off at Hardluck Station. Fair weather fans.
After 70 years of A&M football I'm not on or off the bandwagon!! I've learned the hard way!!! WAIT AND SEE!!!!
4
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AG
Detmersdislocatedshoulder said:

but it will come down to W%92s like it always does.

I've been saying this for years.

No matter how good you think your team is, it always comes down to W%92s.
lagoag
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Shoulder, I usually like most of your posts but can you explain W%92s. My old brain can't figure out what you're trying to say.

I agree with OB, it's easy to jump back on the bandwagon and be optimistic about Elko has done so far. Not just with the recruits that signed or even the portal guys but also the coaching staff. I'm really excited to see what the new offensive staff brings because I knew he'd hire a strong defensive staff which he did. It's definitely refreshing.
Bluto
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AG
I wouldn't say I'm on the bandwagon just yet, but I do like alot of the moves he's making. Seem to going in a positive direction thus far.
mbrooking
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AG
Can't say I'm on the bandwagon; but I will be jogging beside it, ready to jump on and play when the winning starts.
Showag05
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alamogeorge said:

We kept a list. They're sure to hop back off at Hardluck Station. Fair weather fans.
Big Boy Football
Aggie Apotheosis
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I never jumped off the bandwagon.
babyface
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@lagoag, The %92 is the URL code for an apostrophe, but the system isn't translating it correctly He's saying it comes down to Ws (without the apostrophe).

</geekspeak>
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