For a while, Columbus native and Alabama linebacker Mekhi Brown gained Internet fame for all the wrong reasons. Luckily for the redshirt sophomore, he made amends for his mistake and came up with a nice play to boot.
Brown was tagged with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the third quarter of Monday’s CFP national championship game against Georgia. To make matters worse, Brown got into an argument with a coach that cameras quickly caught, which led to a lot of negative attention for the former Carver Tiger.
After the 26-20 overtime victory, Brown was asked about what happened. Brown wouldn’t go into detail about what set him off but did say he made sure to take care of the situation.
“Me and the coach, we talked about it,” Brown said. “I said I was sorry, and he apologized to me, too. We were both good from there. I didn’t do none of the stuff people were saying on the Internet. I just had to make it up for the team. I didn’t want to be the reason we lost.”
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To Brown’s credit, he delivered after a fourth-quarter Alabama field goal left the Crimson Tide down 20-13. Georgia’s Mecole Hardman dared to take the ball out of the end zone on the resulting kick return, and Brown came barreling in, leveling Hardman on the Georgia 14-yard line.
The ensuing Georgia possession was a quick three-and-out.
“When they ran (the kickoff) to my side, I was like, ‘I have to make a play,’” Brown said.
The Crimson Tide’s victory gave Brown his second national championship, though his first came in his redshirt freshman year. Brown explained that while the previous title was nice, it paled in comparison to this one.
“My first one was amazing, but playing in this one felt great,” Brown said. “Knowing that I was part in why we won the game is crazy. It feels great.”
Of course, his ties to the state of Georgia made things that much sweeter.
“It’s so good because we beat a Georgia team,” Brown said. “We beat my state. It just feels amazing. All I could do on the field was cry.”
Jordan D. Hill: 770-894-9818, @lesports