Following Pat White Isn't Going to Be Easy

Dave SandersContributor IAugust 5, 2009

MORGANTOWN, WV - DECEMBER 1:  Backup quarterback Jarrett Brown #16 of the West Virginia Mountaineers rushes in for a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the first half at Milan Puskar Stadium December 1, 2007 in Morgantown, West Virginia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Imagine being the player who follows arguably the greatest player in your school's history.  That's what Jarrett Brown has to do.  Pat White is the only quarterback in Football Bowl Subdivision history to win four bowl games as a starter.  These weren't minor bowl games that only exist to make money.  

Let's start with his freshman year.  WVU came out of nowhere with freshman stars Pat White and Steve Slaton.  When I say came out of nowhere, I mean on the EA Sports' NCAA Football game, Pat White was right handed (a mistake, but that happens with not high profile guys coming into the season) and Steve Slaton didn't even exist. 

This wasn't supposed to happen, but it did.  WVU steamrolled a 10-1 record into a Sugar Bowl appearance.  BCS games weren't something WVU was used to on a regular basis. They faced the SEC champion Georgia Bulldogs and upset the two touchdown favorites 38-35.

Sophomore year, Pat White single-handedly carried WVU to a comeback win in the Gator Bowl with Steve Slaton injured and unable to play.  He played through neck, wrist, and ankle injuries in this game as he willed the Mountaineers to victory and the MVP of the Gator Bowl.

Junior year, WVU won the Big East for the second time in three years and appeared in the Fiesta Bowl against a team many people thought was the best team in the country at the time, the Oklahoma Sooners. 

In the 48-28 WVU win, Pat White tore up the Sooners with his running and passing game, proving that he can do it against elite talent once again, winning the MVP of the Fiesta Bowl.

Senior year, he showed off his passing ability in the Meineke Car Care Bowl against the North Carolina Tar Heels.  Passing for 332 yards and three touchdowns impressed everyone, including pro football scouts.  Pat was also named the MVP of the game.

Pat White won many awards and broke many records.  Here are a few of the many:

Two-time Big East Player of the Year

Finish sixth in Heisman voting his junior year

Finished seventh in Heisman voting his senior year

His 34 victories ranks sixth all-time in NCAA history as a starting quarterback

Starting record of 34-8 is the best in WVU history for a quarterback

Most rushing yards among FBS history among quarterbacks (over 4400 yards)

Accounted for the most touchdowns in Big East history (over 100 touchdowns)

Jarrett Brown is the quarterback who's in the unlucky position of following greatness.  

But now, let's talk about him.  

Jarrett Brown has more of the prototypical size of an NFL quarterback.  He's 6'4" and weighs 220 lbs.  He looks like an NFL quarterback just looking at him. 

At West Virginia, he is 2-0 as a starter.  He played against Rutgers in 2006, winning a triple-overtime game, and against Syracuse in 2008.  He played the Syracuse game with a shoulder injury, that he didn't anyone know about except for his coaches, until after the game.  Throwing mostly short screen routes, he did enough for the Mountaineers to win.  

He is regarded as a good passer with a pretty strong arm.  As a runner, he's not as fast as Pat White.  Not many people are.  Jarrett does have good speed once he gets running.  He's better at North-South running.

What I mean by that is, he runs straight up the field more and won't run towards the sidelines and back and forth as much.  Once he gets a head of steam, he's tough to bring down.  He uses his size to be a powerful runner in short situations too.

Brown deserves his shot at being a good quarterback.  He had opportunities to transfer to another school to get playing time sooner, but he waited his turn (four years watching Pat White) and now, as a red-shirt senior, he's ready to lead WVU.

Brown has some good talent around him.  There may be no one more explosive than Noel Devine in college football.  He can take one to the house at any time.  The team is deep at receiver this year.  Between Arnett, Lyons, hopefully Jock Sanders, Starks, and a few incoming freshman (like Logan Heastie) Jarrett should have plenty of talent around him


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.