Retaining Tyreek Chappell is huge for Texas A&M football

Texas A&M football head coach Mike Elko scored a huge win on Friday as defensive back Tyreek Chappell removed his name from the transfer portal.
Mississippi State v Texas A&M
Mississippi State v Texas A&M / Tim Warner/GettyImages

Player retention is vital in this transfer portal era of college football. It's especially challenging when there are coaching transitions and Texas A&M football is one of the programs that has transitioned to new head coach Mike Elko.

Elko, who came back to Texas A&M football from Duke, after serving as the Aggies' defensive coordinator under Jimbo Fisher, coached Duke to an eight-win season last year and the Aggies could be a sleeper team heading into the 2024 season.

The Aggies didn't land a big-name quarterback in the transfer portal. They also lost some key players such as former five-star wideout Evan Stewart and defensive tackle Walter Nolen, another former five-star recruit.

Yet, Texas A&M football still has plenty of talent and Elko's team got some good news on Friday as starting defensive back Tyreek Chappell, who entered the portal, removed his name, meaning he will return to the Aggies next season after notching 104 career tackles and two interceptions in three seasons with A&M. He had 21 tackles and an interception in 2023.

Conner Weigman was another former five-star recruit that Texas A&M was able to retain, which took away the need for a starting quarterback from the portal such as Will Howard.

Like the hire of Elko, the Aggies needed to stop worrying about winning the press conference and get back to winning games.


That never really happened under Jimbo Fisher. But Elko was able to win at Duke and as we have seen over the years, if you can win there, you can win anywhere.

And with moves like convincing Chappell to stay instead of leaving via the portal and going somewhere else, Texas A&M football seems poised for a bounce-back season.