Ainias Smith: Discipline was "lacking and needed" at Texas A&M football before Elko

The now-former star WR for Texas A&M football had an interesting comment about the Jimbo Fisher regime.
Mar 1, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Texas A&M wide receiver Ainias Smith (WO28) talks to the
Mar 1, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Texas A&M wide receiver Ainias Smith (WO28) talks to the / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Ainias Smith comments that Elko has brought a discipline to Texas A&M football that was "lacking and needed" under previous regime

It's pro day in College Station, and that means that former Texas A&M football players are having their shot to impress the front offices and scouting departments of various NFL teams from around the nation. One of the foremost players who stands to benefit from this is Ainias Smith: not only is he working against the perception that he's too small for the league, he didn't get a chance to show his stuff at the NFL combine following a stress fracture diagnosis.

By all accounts, Smith acquitted himself well in the drills. This should surprise absolutely nobody who has followed his career: we have known for a while that Smith is supremely athletically gifted and one of the hardest workers on the entire team. His discipline has always been one of his most preeminent traits.

Not so, apparently, with the Texas A&M football program, however—at least, before Mike Elko came around. In a brief media appearance, Smith made an enlightening comment when he was asked what Elko brought to the program, answering "[h]e established discipline. I feel like that was something that we were lacking and needed at A&M. And right now, I feel like this is the most disciplined team A&M has seen in a good little minute."

I wouldn't go so far as to call this a shot at former coach Jimbo Fisher. Smith isn't telling any tales out of school here—it's well-known by this point that Fisher was trying to do too much with too little staff by the end of his time in College Station. Many postmortems of his time in Aggieland have touched on this fact.

The hardworking attitude that Smith embodies did at least seem to be present near the beginning of the Fisher era—recall how things felt under Jimbo in 2018 compared to Sumlin in 2017—but due to different circumstances, things tailed off. It's not a coincidence, in my opinion, that this occurred after Elko left, however. Now that he's back, the tough-nosed, hardworking attitude seems to be back. That bodes well for this upcoming season, and his tenure as a whole.