Time To Leave His Mark

It's the most overworked storyline of West Virginia's football pre-season, but after waiting four years for the chance to play as a regular, Jarrett Brown probably deserves the attention.

The patient senior is finally going to be able to claim the Mountaineers as his team on Saturday when he hits the field to face the Liberty Flames, and although the anticipation is intense, he's trying to control his emotions so they won't show up at game time.

"I don't want to wear myself out and get too excited," said Brown, who is remarkably calm and cool during interview sessions. "That will carry out to the game, but like I said, I'm going to have to stay level headed. I try not to get too excited. I am trying to live in the moment right now with getting ready. I'm just going to try to execute the game plan. I don't think it will hit me until Saturday."

It was Brown's even keel that helped him pull off victories as the starter against Rutgers and last year against Syracuse, when he filled in for an injured Pat White. However, last season against the Orange, Brown wasn't sure that he would be able to contribute until just before the game.

"The (2008) Syracuse game, I was injured, so it was hard to prepare for that game," admitted Brown. "I had an idea that I was going to play, but I wasn't sure. I understood Pat (White) could not go because he had a concussion, but I couldn't throw all week so I didn't know. The closer we got to the game, the better I felt."

Brown went deep on the opening series of the game, but it became apparent that he wasn't 100%, and thus stuck to a close to the vest game plan that helped keep the Orange in the game. His performance there, before his injuries were known, raised some doubts among the rush-to-judgment crowd regarding his ability, but those were quickly squelched when his "bumps and bruises", including a thigh bruise and a bad shoulder, were detailed.

Brown won't be under pressure to carry the whole load himself, which should help with any game time jitters. The offense is stacked with some very young but talented offensive threats. especially in the backfield. With the likes of Noel Devine, Mark Rodgers, and Tavon Austin at running back, Mountaineer fans can be confident that the Mountaineers will come through with a solid running game to complement Brown's talent in throwing the ball.

West Virginia will likely rely more on their receivers than they have in past years. With experienced veterans like Alric Arnett, Wes Lyons, Jock Sanders, and the addition of guys like Bradley Starks, Brown should be able to confidently throw the ball.

"(Alric) Arnett has long limbs," said Brown. "Bradley (Starks) can dunk a basketball, probably wind-mill it. He also has speed and great hands. I think all my receivers are versatile and we can do anything with Wes (Lyons), Arnett and Starks. We also have Jock (Sanders) so we are pretty good all of the way across the board."

Brown is confident that the offensive line will be able to take care of some of Liberty's active defenders.

"They're going to have to move around a little bit," said Brown of the Flames' defensive front. "I'm going to use my feet. I think my guys up front will be able to take care of that."

As the Mountaineer offense continues to polish things up for Saturday's, it looks to be in good shape with Brown at the controls. While it can't be said for certain that Brown will flourish in the starting role, all indications, including his dress rehearsals over the past couple years, show that he has the ability.

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