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Texas A&M Football

Brandon Leone 'excited' to see Mike Elko take the reins in Aggieland

July 9, 2024

Entering this fall, Texas A&M will have a new head coach as Mike Elko prepares for his first season guiding the Aggies. On Tuesday morning, former A&M football player Brandon Leone joined TexAgs Radio to discuss what he's most excited about as football season approaches.

Key notes from Brandon Leone interview

  • The timing of Jim Schlossnagle leaving for Texas was one of the worst I’ve ever seen. Initially, when it happened, I couldn’t believe it. My brother-in-law texted me in April and said that he heard it was a possibility, but at the time, I was like, “What are you talking about? No, he’s not.” When Richard Zane asked that question, I was like, “Oh, he’s gone.” Obviously, I hurt for the players. They played their tails off. I can tell you this: Relationships go a long way. I am happy with what Michael Earley is doing.
  • I’m most excited about the leadership change for Texas A&M football. I’m really excited about Mike Elko and just the way he has carried himself. He’s a football guy. He’s not caught up in all the hype. He’s just focused on football and developing this culture and roster. In the midst of all this baseball craziness, on the low, Elko and his staff are putting together a great recruiting class.
  • I’m excited to see what it will look like if we can have Conner Weigman for an entire season. I still believe, with everything in me, that he’s an elite quarterback. I think he has greatness in him.
  • Toughness will be the most notable difference between this coaching staff and the previous regime. If you think back to when Elko was here under Jimbo Fisher, we were very physical and were a very tough team. Seeing these guys believe in each other and what the coaches are doing will go a long way. I think we’re going to be a tough team this fall.
  • I think the defensive line will be our strength and will continue to be for a while, and that’s important. The importance of putting pressure on these quarterbacks is more so now than back when I was playing. I think the defense line being our strength allows Elko to do a lot of different things defensively.
  • Linebacker depth is our biggest weakness. I think we have some great ones at the top, but we have a lot of unproven talent there. That’s been the case for us for a long time. Taurean York had a phenomenal season, and you can tell no one deserves it more than him. You want everyone on the roster to approach the game and life the way he does, but it’s a long season. The offensive line is my second concern behind that.
  • I think the running backs will be more productive than the receivers. Le’Veon Moss and Rueben Owens have so much potential. I think that Moss is a stud. If he can stay healthy, he can do things at the next level that make a running back great. I’m excited to see No. 8.
  • Whatever this coaching staff is selling is something that is providing value. I will sell Texas A&M like anyone on the planet, but it shows you that Elko is not distracted. He’s focused. He and his staff are getting it done on the recruiting trail, and I think it’s amazing. I also believe that Elko has a ton of support behind him.
  • It’s hard for me to answer what a successful first season under Mike Elko looks like because it sounds like we’ve been answering the same thing for 25 years: Get to a bowl game and get nine wins. I think we’re passed that. Say what you want to say about Schlossnagle, but in three years, he went to Omaha twice and played for a national championship. I think it’s probably a little bit more challenging in football than it is in baseball, and I don’t mean to demean baseball because SEC baseball is very tough.
  • Here’s a successful season to me for Elko: Beat Texas, beat Notre Dame, don’t lose to one of the Mississippi schools, win at Kyle Field and try to have yourself in the conversation in late November. I would say nine wins would be the minimum. I would think that would be very impressive.
  • The unfortunate thing about Texas is they do have an extremely talented roster right now. I believe they were gifted a favorable schedule. I do think the week-to-week grind of the SEC is going to surprise them a little bit. If they struggled — which they have minus last year — for a decade in the Big 12, I think this will be more challenging than they think. Unfortunately, I think Texas and Oklahoma will both do well this season, but over time, the SEC will be a challenge for them.
  • I used to pay attention to SEC Media Days. With running the business up here, trying to grow that and three kiddos, it’s hard to focus on these things you like to focus on. Still, I always listen to our guys. I just love to see how they represent themselves and how they present Texas A&M to the world. It’s exciting. It always means that it’s that net step closer to football season. I can’t believe we’re here.
Discussion from...

Brandon Leone 'excited' to see Mike Elko take the reins in Aggieland

3,601 Views | 3 Replies | Last: 12 days ago by ccatag
The Agly Duckling
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Love me some Leone. Red Ass.
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Thanks Brandon
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