Mike Elko has breathed new life into Texas A&M football’s DFW recruiting presence

After some lackluster cycles in the metroplex, Mike Elko is making sure that Texas A&M football establishes a presence in North Texas.

Dec 25, 2022; Dallas, Texas, USA; A general view of the Dallas city skyline and the statue by
Dec 25, 2022; Dallas, Texas, USA; A general view of the Dallas city skyline and the statue by / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Elko is resuscitating Texas A&M football’s presence in Dallas-Fort Worth

For all the recruiting prowess that former Texas A&M football coach Jimbo Fisher brought to the table, the last few years showed a pretty obvious Achilles heel for his staff. The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex was too often underrepresented in his yearly signees. Now, granted, the Aggies’ campus is much closer to Houston than they are DFW, but that should really be no excuse.

The DFW area consistently produces top talent, and when you’re an in-state school, you have to wall that area off. Oklahoma, LSU, and others consistently try to dip in and land top prospects for their programs from this area; the Sooners are especially reliant on poaching top talent from around there.

Mike Elko already seems determined to change that. One evidence of that was his attempted hire of Wesley McGriff—a coach with no shortage of DFW ties—before he returned to Auburn. Even so, Elko didn’t give up.

The Aggies currently boast four commitments in their 2025 class. Of those, two are from the DFW area—Kelvion Riggins from Forney and Deondrae “Tiger” Riden from DeSoto. That may not seem like a huge deal until you realize that in the last four classes combined, the Aggies have signed 10 total DFW prospects, including a big goose egg last year. For context, the Aggies signed 10 Houston prospects in the 2022 class alone, and a total of 24 over the last four cycles.

That’s a lack of balance that can quickly become an issue. However, another, recent hire has again underscored how much importance Elko is placing on recruiting this area. Joe Hamilton, a recent hire away from Florida, is well-known for his Texas connections, and DFW in particular. Elko is strategically picking his staff in order to establish Texas A&M football as a recruiting power in every part of the state going forward.

Two of the top five recruits in Texas for the upcoming cycle—WR Dakorien Moore and OL Michael Fasusi—are from DFW. Three more in the top ten—LB Riley Pettijohn, WR Kaliq Lockett, and OL Ty Haywood—also hail from the Metroplex. The importance of winning big battles there is higher now than it has been in quite some time. Texas A&M football is lucky to have a man in charge who understands and is addressing that need.