A week ago, Carver’s highly-touted defensive recruit Mekhi Brown assured Alabama fans via Twitter that they had nothing to worry about.
He promised that he was still committed to the Crimson Tide, and there would be no surprises come signing day.
On Wednesday, he delivered on that promise.
Brown, sporting Alabama’s traditional houndstooth hat and a Crimson Tide bow tie, inked with Alabama to complete a four-year journey that saw him tugged in a number of different directions. One of those was in the direction of Louisville, where teammate Khane Pass also signed at Carver’s signing ceremony in the school’s auditorium.
Brown said, while he entertained those other offers, Alabama was the right place at the end of the day.
“They were loyal to me the whole process,” he said. “They were honest with me. They told me I would have to work hard, and it was just a perfect fit at Alabama. I feel like it was best for me.”
He stressed the last word in the sentence, noting that he has goals beyond college that he felt like the Crimson Tide, specifically coach Nick Saban, could help him achieve.
One is the NFL. Saban, of course, has a long history of sending players to the next level.
“That was the last thought I had,” Brown said. “That was one of the reasons I went to Alabama. Right now, it’s about the degree and playing with some great guys and winning.”
Brown said other schools highlighted the competitive nature of the roster at Alabama, how it would be difficult for him to earn playing time early on in his college career. He said he saw that as motivation to get bigger, stronger and faster to compete for time right away.
“Coaches told me nobody is starting at all,” he said, meaning every position is an open battle. “I can come in and compete right away. I just have to learn the speed of college football.”
Brown was committed to Alabama for nearly two full years, having made his pledge originally in the spring of 2013.
As a senior, he was named All-Bi-City defensive player of the year, recording 42 tackles, 14 for loss, and 11.5 sacks.
Like Brown, Pass said Louisville defensive coordinator Todd Grantham’s reputation for putting players in the NFL was a reason he chose the Cardinals. He is excited that they run a similar defense to Carver’s and that he will have the opportunity to play immediately upon arriving on campus.
“It’s open,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons I picked Louisville, to go compete.”
He will play free safety, and said he expects to be a playmaker from the get-go.
This season, he was named first-team All-Bi-City after finishing with 36 tackles, nine passes broken up and two interceptions.
There was a full stage with those two on Wednesday, with nine other college athletes signing to play at the next level.Kevonte Finch (Globe Institute of Technology), Devon Wynn (Fort Valley State), T.J. Branscomb (Fort Valley State), Andrew Carter (Fort Scott C.C.), Josh Curry (Arizona Western C.C.), Tyler Jones (Coffeyville C.C.) and Robert Jernigan (Delaware State) all signed for football. Tyneisha Quarterman also signed to Savannah State for track.