Former Lake Marion High School and South Carolina State University standout defensive back Alex Brown is getting the opportunity of a lifetime in his rookie NFL season.
After bouncing around the league in 2019, Brown in December found himself off the practice squad and on the field with future AFC champion Kansas City. Injuries in the secondary led to Brown getting a spot on the active roster.
He is the only player to have started the 2019 season with one team that just made the Super Bowl (the San Francisco 49ers), only to finish the season with the other team set to play for the title in Miami.
Brown originally entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the 49ers before being released in July. He was acquired on waivers by the Philadelphia Eagles in July and released in August. The New York Jets acquired Brown on waivers and then released him Aug. 31. He was signed to the Kansas City practice squad in September. He reportedly then ran plays on the Chiefs scout team as quarterback Lamar Jackson (expected to be NFL MVP for the season) in preparation for Kansas City's September 22 win against the Ravens.
According to reporting by Matt Derrick of si.com, Brown's chance came Dec. 5 when Kansas City defensive backs coach Sam Madison told him, "All right, it's your time."
The Chiefs promoted Brown to the active roster with injuries challenging their depth at cornerback. Morris Claiborne (shoulder) and former South Carolina standout Rashad Fenton (hamstring) had not practiced that week.
“It feels pretty good,” Brown said. “I've been working all my life for this, so I'm happy for the opportunity.”
Brown said watching Claiborne, Bashaud Breeland (Clemson product) and Charvarius Ward (another undrafted free agent from the 2018 class) helped him develop his game and learn new techniques.
“As a player I feel like I've developed mentally just watching my guys play and practice, especially press technique,” Brown told si.com. “Getting better and better each week, so I'm becoming a better player all around.”
After Madison delivered the news of his promotion, Brown grabbed his phone and called his mom, according to the si.com report.
“She was so excited, she's been waiting on this all her life,” Brown said. His dad was on the phone too, then he called his high school coach (current Edisto athletic director Chris Carter) and college coaches (Buddy Pough and other staff members) to let them know.
Brown then played in a Week 14 win at the New England Patriots. A week later, Brown recorded a tackle in a home win against the Denver Broncos, before he recorded a tackle in a road win against the Chicago Bears in Week 16. In each game, the Chiefs played outstanding defense and only allowed a field goal scored against them. He has since played in wins against the Chargers, the Texans and the Titans.
In his final season with S.C. State in 2018, Brown earned All-MEAC second team honors. The preseason All-MEAC selection finished third on the team in tackles his senior season with 42 (36 solo) stops, two tackles for loss, one sack, four interceptions for 50 yards worth of returns, eight pass breakups and 12 pass deflections.
Brown played on offense and defense for Lake Marion, completing his career in 2013 with the Gators making a second straight playoff appearance. He rushed for 950 yards on just 54 carries as a senior.
Elon, Presbyterian, Georgia Southern and Charleston Southern offered Brown, but S.C. State turned out to be the best fit for him.
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