Texas A&M Football: Mike Elko left Notre Dame for very simple reason

(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Texas A&M football stole Mike Elko from the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and he had a pretty simple reason for joining the Aggies.

One of Jimbo Fisher’s first priorities when taking over for Texas A&M football was to bring in a trusted name who could run his defense.

He went after LSU’s Dave Aranda, who turned the interest into being the highest paid coordinator in college football, and then went after Mike Elko from Notre Dame.

Elko spent one season with the Fighting Irish and turned them into a top 50 scoring defense. He also spent the previous three seasons as Wake Forest’s defensive coordinator and had a top 50 scoring defense with them as well.

You would think having a coordinator job at Notre Dame, one of the most storied programs in the history of college football, would be enough to keep him around for more than one season unless he left for a head coaching gig.

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According to Elko, there was a very simple reason for him spurning the Irish. “We were just convinced that this place was on the verge of doing something special.”

Well said, coach.

You have already started to see the effect Fisher can have on the program. He has recruited the hell out of Texas in less than one year as the Aggies’ head coach. The Aggies are currently the No. 3 recruiting class in 2019 and have 12 of the top 32 recruits from Texas high schools.

The hype is real. Fans have bought in. Players are buying in. You can see in the way Elko speaks about taking the job, coaches are buying in too.

"“The commitment they made to Coach Fisher, from a stability standpoint, giving him the opportunity to come build this thing the way he wants to build it . . . the opportunity to come here and link up with him, be part of this, in a great state, in a great division, in a great conference was [what] drew me down here.”"

Elko has a daunting task turning around an Aggie defense that ranked 87th in points allowed and 78th in yards allowed in the 2017 season. Part of that was injury. The other part was John Chavis failed to live up to the hype in any of his seasons here.

It would be easy to say that won’t happen with Elko given his track record, but Chavis had an even better resumé before joining Kevin Sumlin’s staff.

The main difference will be Fisher’s offense being able to actually give the defense a breather. Sumlin’s offense was fast paced, and even scoring drives took mere minutes off the clock. Fisher will slow the pace down and even on shorter drives will give his defensive players time to recover on the sideline.

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Elko sees the change happening within the Texas A&M football program as much as the rest of us. It’s what brought him here, and it’s what will keep him here as long as he doesn’t have head coaching aspirations.

Watch the entire press conference below.

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.