How 4-Star DE Mekhi Brown Helped Alabama Land Epic Spring Game Recruiting Haul

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How 4-Star DE Mekhi Brown Helped Alabama Land Epic Spring Game Recruiting Haul
Pic courtesy 247Sports

It didn’t take Mekhi Brown long to realize something special was unfolding among the group of recruits in attendance for Alabama’s spring game last month.  

However, even Brown—a 6’6”, 220-pound defensive end who has been committed to the Tide since April of 2013—couldn’t envision a one-day haul that netted Nick Saban’s club commitments from four recruits all rated among the top 100 nationally, according to 247Sports.

“I wasn’t expecting five commitments,” Brown said with a chuckle. “I was expecting more like one or two. Once that happened, we all just clicked instantly.”

The haul included corner Minkah Fitzpatrick, receiver Calvin Ridley, athlete Shawn Burgess-Becker and linebacker Leo Lewis—all of whom rank among the top six nationally at their respective positions.

Brown, who has served as the de facto lead recruiter among the contingent of Tide commitments, did his best to ensure all of the recruits were having a good time, including speaking to each player before they committed.

“I just tried to make them feel welcome,” Brown said. “I just asked them about how the coaches were treating them and making sure they were being treated well. It was cool because I felt like I had something to do with it.”

The key to his approach, he says, is building relationships and keeping in touch with players without being too aggressive.

“Basically, with me, I try not to force the issue,” Brown said. “I just try to be like a regular coach or recruiter. I tell them, ‘just do what is best for you.’ I’m not just going to bug them or anything like that. ‘Just keep in contact with me.’ That’s what I tell them.”

Selling the Tide to fellow recruits is easy for the Columbus, Georgia, product. The main factor that led him to commit to the Tide was how Saban and his staff laid out their plans for him on and off the field.

“I feel like the personality there on the field and off the field fits me perfectly,” Brown said. “They do a lot of community things. Coach Saban and those guys basically have a mentality where you have to be perfect and try to do things the right way. On the field, their tradition is great. The defense is really good and the coaches put you in positions to be successful.”

With Alabama steamrolling its way toward a fifth consecutive No. 1 recruiting class, Brown mentioned 5-star athlete Terry Godwin—who is committed to Georgia—and 5-star defensive end CeCe Jefferson as players he’s targeting in hopes of getting them to hop on board.

As for Brown’s summer plans, he mentioned LSU and Mississippi State as potential destinations. However, his only planned trips are a pair of visits to Tuscaloosa in June for the Tide’s summer camps.

In the meantime, before he gets to college, he has a few areas of his game he plans to work on before his senior season. Although he’s being recruited as a Jack linebacker in the Tide’s 3-4 scheme, one key characteristic defines what makes him such a coveted recruit—versatility.

“I know this year at my high school, I’m playing middle linebacker too,” Brown said. “So I’m doing a lot of coverage stuff instead of rushing the quarterback. I haven’t really rushed the quarterback since my sophomore year. I’m just trying to add more versatility to my game and sharpen up my coverage skills to play against those quicker receivers. That’s what they (Alabama) want me to do in college, so I feel like I’ll get a lot better at it.”

While he is focusing on his upcoming senior season, he’s already doing his part to make sure he helps assemble a 2015 class that will find success on and off the field at Alabama.

“We just know that when we get there, we are going to keep winning,” Brown said.

 

Sanjay Kirpalani is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand. 

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