"You're pretty big" is a phrase Mekhi Brown is getting used to hearing. Just 15 years old, the 6-foot-6, 230 pound sophomore defensive end out of Columbus (Ga.) Carver has hit several growth spurts over the last few years. But none bigger than last season's.
"Basically, in the middle of my ninth grade year I grew," he said of the most recent. "I got weaker because my arms got longer, but I kept working in the weight room."
The work has paid off, as Brown has racked up the offers in 2012 - including from notable schools like Alabama, Florida State and Tennessee among others. His size is what draws recruiters to him, but his play takes it to the next level. Brown helped Carver win 11 of their first 12 games this season before the Tigers fell to Buford (Ga.) in Friday's 3A quarterfinal.
"I love my teammates, it was a pretty good year," he said. "I'm going to miss this [senior] class."
The class has been solid all season long, but it took Brown some time to get going on varsity this fall.
"I remember in the beginning of the year, I was coming off the ball slow," he admitted. "But by the third game, it was pretty much on. My coach just said ‘turn it on. Just go and play hard.'"
Theflip of the switch has turned into the offers, but the class of 2015 standout remains level-headed because of his youth and eventual goals.
"It's a way to get to my head, but it reminds me to keep working," said Brown of all his early recruiting interests and offers. "There are other people in the country working, too.
"I'm trying to be number one."
He is being courted like a possible top prospect in the Peach State for the '15 cycle, and it has allowed him to take in games at big-time programs throughout the fall.
"There was a lot of people, and a lot of good talent at both of those places. They recruit really big."
The Alabama staff links Brown to one of their current defensive standouts, and the young talent envisions the same.
"They basically rushed all the time, and ‘Bama has Adrian Hubbard," he said of his experience in Tuscaloosa. "I see myself being somewhat like him. A pass-rusher.
"It makes me work."
While schools like Alabama and Clemson impressed in person, it's not necessarily the short list of his favorites. Brown maintains that he remains wide-open at this point in his recruitment and a decision is not expected any time soon.
But there is a plan going forward, at least for now.
Said Brown, "I want to make to more visits and stay in the weight room. I want to see Alabama and Tennessee again."