In January, Alabama linebacker Mekhi Brown announced he was leaving the Crimson Tide just days after he was part of a sideline skirmish in the College Football Playoff national championship game. Six months later, Brown discussed his time in Tuscaloosa and what’s next for him at Tennessee State.
The Columbus, Georgia, native appeared in a video with Chimin’ In Media and discussed his experiences over the last few months. Although the former Carver Tiger didn’t talk about the blowup that gave him some negative attention on Jan. 8, he explained his time with the Crimson Tide has influenced how he’s working now as a Tiger.
“For the most part, playing at Bama, everybody’s gunning for you all the time. My mentality is bring that same mentality here. Have people scared to play us on Saturdays and run through people’s faces all the times,” Brown said. “I’ve just been grinding, working out all the time and just trying to lead the team.”
Brown, who was a reserve linebacker for the Crimson Tide last season, said he made up his mind after Alabama’s season-opening victory over Florida State that he was leaving at the end of the year. As far as why he chose Tennessee State, Brown pointed to the attention playing for the Ohio Valley Conference school will provide.
“You get a lot of exposure,” Brown said. “Usually when guys transfer and want to play right away, they chose Tennessee State or Jacksonville State or they go JUCO. I felt like it was a good move. I’m going to learn the same kind of things I did at Bama. It ain’t really no change — it’s just the name of the school.”
Despite no longer playing at Alabama, Brown voiced his appreciation for Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban. Even though Saban and Brown exchanged words during the title game showdown with Georgia, Brown made it evident how important Saban is to his players.
“He’s a great coach. He gives guys second chances a lot. He takes care of you,” Brown said. “He keeps try to keep things within the program, you know what I’m saying? He doesn’t want stuff getting out about players that shouldn’t get out. He tries to do his best with protecting us really anybody. Playing for Saban, you’re going to want to play hard all the time because of who he is.”
As far as his new home, Brown expressed his excitement about his future at Tennessee State. Along with a coaching staff that’s excited to have him on defense, Brown spoke highly of the team and the pieces its added. Brown is one a few transfers added to the Tigers roster and is a single piece on a squad hoping to build off a 6-5 record in 2017.
Brown may be the most well-known player at Tennessee State this fall, but he’s more concerned about helping the Tigers compete on a national level.
“I’m not going to showboat or act like I’m better than them because of where I came from,” Brown said. “They knew from the jump I’m a pretty cool person. I want to win just as bad as they do. I want everybody to feel how it feels to have a national championship.
“I’m just trying to have a good year and come out for the [NFL Draft].”