Mekhi Brown’s tenure at Alabama likely will always be remembered for a sideline blowup that was captured by the ESPN camera crew. But he remains steadfast in his claim it had nothing to do with his departure from the program that transpired shortly thereafter.
Now participating in spring practice for FCS school Tennessee State in Nashville, Tenn., Brown opened up to The Tennessean’s Mike Organ about his decision to leave the Crimson Tide after what some would consider a public embarrassment.
“People think I left [Alabama] because of that,” Brown told Organ. “But that wasn’t the case. I met with coach Saban literally a day after the game when we got back. We talked about it, he said it was wrong, but he didn’t want me to leave. He wanted me to stay. I left on really good terms with him. I will always respect coach Saban, he will always respect me. He told me I could always come back to visit if I want.”
That explanation is consistent with a message that he tweeted out in January.
“I wasn’t kicked off the team,” Brown wrote in the Tweet dated Jan. 17. “I had my mind set on leaving early in the season. Coach Saban didn’t want me to leave and had no plans to kick me off the team.”
If you’ve already forgotten his national title game misgivings, here’s a quick recap.
First, Brown drew a penalty for punching a Georgia player during a special teams play, seen here:
— Pro Sports Extra (@ProSportsExtra) January 9, 2018
Next, Brown appeared to get into a heated sideline disagreement with a coach that led to him having to be restrained. Review that here:
Trying to fight a coach. pic.twitter.com/DmXv1wpU7w
— SEC Country (@SECcountry) January 9, 2018
But that’s all in the past now, right Tide fans? That’s safe to say because Alabama is holding the trophy and the incident did not end up costing the Crimson Tide a national title.
Brown was a reserve linebacker for the Crimson Tide, but will have a chance to play right away for Tennessee State this fall. Tigers coach Rod Reed told Organ that Brown fits into their plans as an outside linebacker or defensive end in their 3-4 scheme.
“I do feel like I can bring my knowledge from Alabama here and we can win championships,” Brown told Organ.