Two days after it was revealed that Alabama linebacker Mekhi Brown had transferred to Tennessee State, the former Carver High School star offered context for his departure on social media.
Brown, who is now enrolled at Tennessee State, tweeted Wednesday that his moving on had been in motion long before his controversial sideline antics during the Crimson Tide’s national championship game against Georgia.
“I wasn’t kicked off the team,” Brown tweeted. “I had my mind set on leaving early this season. Coach Saban didn’t want me to leave and had no plans to kick me off the team.”
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Brown’s explanation fits the report by The Tennessean which broke the news on his departure. According to the story, Brown had applied to Tennessee State and had been accepted to the school during the fall, long before the Jan. 8 game against the Bulldogs.
Brown, who was a four-star recruit when he came out of Carver, had played in a reserve role at linebacker and on special teams in his redshirt sophomore season. He drew attention for all the wrong reasons in Alabama’s national championship game when he was caught on camera arguing with director of player personnel Kerry Stevenson shortly after drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
Brown remained in the game for the Crimson Tide, later making a tackle on a kickoff return that pinned Georgia deep in its own territory.
Brown explained after the Crimson Tide’s victory that he had apologized to Stevenson for his actions.
“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.”
Brown played in 12 of Alabama’s 14 games in the 2017 season. He finished the season with seven total tackles.
Brown received praise from Alabama senior linebacker Rashaan Evans two days before the championship, as Evans explained that Brown’s future was a bright one.
“I feel like next year is definitely going to be his year,” Evans said. “He’s a long-length athlete who can run. I feel like right now he’s able to go through the things that I kind of went through, to be honest with you. I think now he understands that next year — whenever he does have the biggest opportunity of his life — he’ll take full advantage of it.”
After Brown’s actions in the College Football Playoff title game, he faces certain stipulations he must meet in order to join Tennessee State’s team. Once Brown meets those parameters, he will be allowed to participate in Tennessee State’s spring practice.
Brown is eligible to play this fall with two years of eligibility remaining.
Jordan D. Hill: 770-894-9818, @lesports