Texas A&M Football: LSU DC spurning Aggies was blessing in disguise

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

Texas A&M football was in hot pursuit of stealing LSU’s defensive coordinator; him choosing to stay was a blessing in disguise.

When Jimbo Fisher took over as head coach for Texas A&M football, he went hard to work trying to bring in big names to be his coordinators.

One of them was Darrell Dickey, who is the offensive coordinator even though Fisher maintains he will call plays for the offense. Dickey came to Texas A&M from Memphis, where he ran a run-heavy offense, but has ties to the state of Texas.

Dickey started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at A&M, was the offensive coordinator at UTEP from ’94-96, the SMU offensive coordinator in ’97, then the head coach at North Texas for nine seasons from ’98-06.

Memphis finished No. 4 in yards per game and No. 2 in points per game in 2017. It was a fantastic hire.

Mike Elko ended up being the choice for defensive coordinator, but he wasn’t the first guy on the list. That man was LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda. Aranda ended up getting a massive contract from LSU that made him the highest paid assistant coach in college football.

However, that’s not the reason he stayed. A&M clearly would have backed the Brinks truck up for any guy Jimbo hired. Instead, Aranda credited his daughters as the main reason he decided to stay. His 13- and 11-year-old daughters told him they wanted to stay in Baton Rouge.

“This was the first time in our lives the girls especially were pretty vocal about wanting to stay and be, and I appreciate that,” Aranda said.

You really can’t blame a man for doing what’s right by his family (even though he’s still getting paid millions of dollars). It’s a respectable and commendable decision.

It also might be a blessing in disguise. Elko may have never got a call from Fisher had Fisher been able to lure the second defensive coordinator away from LSU in three years.

Elko turned around Notre Dame’s defense that allowed 27.8 points per game in 2016 (No. 62) to a team that allowed 21.5 points per game in 2017 (No. 31) He also coached a top 50 defense at Wake Forest in his three seasons as the Demon Deacon’s defensive coordinator. This was with significantly less defensive talent that the likes of LSU tends to get.

Aranda may in fact be a fantastic coach, but LSU’s defense has been a top unit basically every year since the turn of the century The fact their defense is so good might be more to do with excellent high school scouting and recruiting.

Just look at John Chavis. He was hailed as a hero when Kevin Sumlin stole him away from LSU — the Aggies finished 28th, 40th and 87th in points allowed in his three seasons. The drop off in rankings absolutely had to do with the defense losing talent.

Next: 2018 game-by-game Aggie football predictions

Elko seems more equipped to get as much as he can from his players regardless of talent. Schemes can make great defenses without needing great players. Elko may be just what the Aggies need.

Jeff Shull is the Site Expert for the Gig Em Gazette on FanSided. Follow him on Twitter, and be sure to follow the Gig Em Gazette on Facebook and Twitter.