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Press Conference: Mike Elko recaps A&M's roster overhaul on NSD

February 7, 2024

Texas A&M put a bow on its 2024 recruiting class on National Signing Day with three more high school additions. Mike Elko spoke to the media on Wednesday afternoon about the final group of signees and the current state of his program.

The following are live, paraphrased notes from Mike Elko’s Wednesday afternoon media availability:

  • It’s interesting how much college ball has changed. This used to be a mega day, and now it is the last part of the cycle.
  • Ashton Bethel-Roman‍ is a receiver from Missouri City. We got involved in December. He opened himself back up when he came back available. He has good size and a good catch radius. He will add something to our WR room.
  • Robert Bourdon‍ had committed to us at Duke. He postponed his signing. He visited, and we got it over the line. He is projected to be a really good offensive tackle.
  • Terry Bussey‍, we will call him an athlete. He is a football, basketball and track kid. There is not a lot he can't do. He has had as productive of a high school career as you can. He will come in at corner, but we will get the ball in his hands.
  • To backtrack, Tristan Jernigan‍ is a sideline-to-sideline linebacker. He has a high-energy presence about him.
  • Derek Miller and his team have done a great job in the transfer portal and high school recruiting.
  • Bussey playing both ways all the time is hard. When you have a kid as dynamic as he is, you want him to impact the football game.
  • Jay Bateman is a guy I worked with in 2004 at Richmond. I have known him for 20 years. He has experience in the SEC and a wealth of knowledge in football. There is a strong base of what we want it to be. Jay has coached a lot of football at a high level.
  • Jordan Peterson, it is great when the most qualified person is also an Aggie. 
  • It took a lot to get Bussey. He is coveted across the country and someone who I did not meet until I was hired. You have a lot of work to do to get him comfortable. Same with Ashton. There were previous people on our staff who had established relationships with Bussey.
  • Derek Miller is critical. That role is really important. You are recruiting a portal that has 2,000 or 3,000 kids in it. You are trying to find what fits you. The logistics are in-depth and detailed. His team has phenomenal evaluators. You trust that group. Derek was a student assistant at Bowling Green. He was a young kid. He was an easy guy to target. 
  • If you put the grand scope of this together, we will be behind in 2025. Translate that to the 2024 class. You had to go at a million miles an hour for the 2024s. You start from ground zero. It is not an easy situation to get dropped in.
  • High school kids are about relationships and how you grow them into men. With transfers, it flips. Connections matter, but guys want to know what they will get out of A&M. Nic Scourton and a lot of these transfers gravitated toward coaches that coach at an elite level.
  • We started in the office on Dec. 30. On Jan 2., we looked at the depth chart, and we had a lot of work to do. That portal period could have gone a lot of ways. Where we sit now, you feel really good about where this roster is. We added a smaller recruiting class but added value in a lot of different ways. Now, we feel we have a team that can go to work and become what we are capable of becoming.
  • We are the flagship program in this state, and because of that, we need to have relationships with guys in this state. It is always part of our obligation to be a resource for coaches in this state. This is what we believe Texas A&M football should be moving forward.
  • It is such a fluid roster situation nowadays. Every program anticipates eight to 10 departures in the spring. Every cycle is different. Last spring, the portal did not have as many impact players. Who knows this year?
  • Tommy Moffitt is having a huge impact on our program. We have an elite strength staff. We are operating at a really high level. Our kids all feel that. It’s becoming more about the kids today feeling what they do is working. That is the motto of the NFL. College wasn't like that for a long time. The kids would listen because they had to. If kids feel like what they are doing is helping them grow, they are excited about it. The energy around this building is at a really high level right now. 
  • We watched Robert Bourdon play lacrosse at Duke. There is a certain level of athleticism you need at this conference. It is a good starting point to play another sport like that.
  • I told Bussey I would say this. Let’s be careful a little bit. Let’s not put too much on one young man. We put a lot of work to get him here. I don't want to stand up here and put a lot of pressure on one kid.
  • I am going to punt the question on Ross Bjork and the AD search. I guess I can’t get fired right now cause I don't have a boss. 
  • Right now, in the secondary, there is a lot of versatility and different types of bodies back there.
  • We had a team meeting yesterday. That is the hardest thing about transitions because you are worried about recruiting cycles. I have only been in the office for five or six days just to be around. You just want to get around your players. You want to start building relationships. 
  • You want kids to be able to achieve things they are passionate about and good at like Bryce Foster. They are still college kids. We certainly support Bryce and will continue to do that with the kids moving forward. 
  • There is a passionate fanbase that we have that gets excited about Texas A&M football. I would hope things that happened in the last two months have rekindled that. I know this place will be rocking when Notre Dame comes here.
  • We will take these next couple of days to breathe, but on Monday, we are transitioning to get to working with the guys. We have the pieces in place. We have now between the opener to get ready to be what we want to be.
Discussion from...

Press Conference: Mike Elko recaps A&M's roster overhaul on NSD

15,012 Views | 10 Replies | Last: 14 days ago by 12thMan9
BigJim49 AustinNowDallas
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Congratulations coach to you and your staff on a great recruiting NS day.
Well done sir.
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it's easy to get excited about mike elkos vision of how a program should be run. he has a recipe for success that he believes in and i am excited to see the results from their efforts.
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Hello, my name is redjalapeno, and I am an Elkoholic. Sometimes I watch Elko pressers and interviews 2 or 3 times a week, or more, if its readily available.
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I am extremely happy we hired Elko. I believe he is the right guy with the right mindset and the right approach.

Elkonomics of roster building. Dividends to be paid in 2024 with hopes of a large bonus.
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We had good success recruiting and what does he do? He gives credit to his recruiting coordinator. Good leader

Did have to laugh about him saying we don't have an AD so he can't get fired.
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Contrary to what some people say, his remark about Foster reads that he'll be doing the shot this Spring & not football.
Ronnie '88
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Foster is doing spring ball end of story.
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Then Coach Henry should be told & his pic should not be on the 23/24 T&F roster, right?
Ronnie '88
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