In some ways, this summer has been the longest season of Jarrett Brown’s life.

He waited and waited and waited four years for his chance to come, never complaining, never threatening to transfer, never causing any trouble.

“I think, of course, I was very patient,” he said.

Not that he had any choice. Patrick White was the quarterback at West Virginia. He played four years, won four bowl games, set NCAA rushing records, beat Georgia and Oklahoma in BCS matchups.

But White’s gone and as Jarrett Brown will tell you, “Now I’m impatient.”

In a couple of weeks, when summer camp opens on Aug. 7, he will be given the keys to offense.

“I’m ready,” he said the other day.

Brown understands what it’s all about. He’s got real playing time under his belt, a couple of winning starts, a tough, tough victory against Rutgers behind him.

The wait has been excruciatingly long.

“It is as long as it seems to be,” he said. “I can’t believe I’m here now. I’m excited.”

He is a rookie much the same way Satchel Paige was a rookie in 1948 with the Cleveland Indians.

He’s been around a long time. Quiet mostly, smiling always, taking a shot at and on Bob Huggins’ basketball team, a way of staying busy while White was going through his era.

Now it is Jarrett Brown’s era.

Sort of.

“It’s a one-year era,” he said, flashing that winning smile of his.

White, as we all know, had a chance to grow in the starting quarterback’s spot. He was raw as a rookie, played behind Adam Bednarik. His passing was a problem in the early days, but he had those flying feet and that natural ability to not only lead but to make the big play when the big play had to be made.

Brown doesn’t have four years to prove himself as a starter.

This is his season.

He’s put all of himself into it that he can. He’s studied film. He’s worked with his receivers.

He knows what he left out there while running Law School Hill, how his gut would burn and breath came only in gasps.

It was all for this, what will transpire between September and January.

“I always told myself if I had to do something for the first time, whether it’s football, bowling or golf, I’m going to do it like I’ve done it a million times before,” he said.

And if Brown has a slice off the tee in golf, as he admits to, he still hits it a long way.

“I think I have a future with golf,” he said.

More important is his football future.

This is the year he must put it all together, the years of study, the strong, accurate arm and the legs that are underrated for what they can do as a runner.

A year ago, when WVU was having trouble on third and short, they used Brown as a short-yardage back, running up into the line like he was Owen Schmitt.

“I got banged around,” he admitted. “In my mind I was a running back. I tried to lower my shoulder.”

This year they want him to pass, pass, pass and run only in emergencies.

He expects that to be an important part of his game.

“I’m going to run the ball because it comes naturally. Even if a play breaks down, I can make something of it with my legs. You won’t have to call any draws during the game because it all comes natural,” he said.

He has carried 87 times in his college career and his 5.7 yards a carry average would be a lot higher if he hadn’t been used so much in short-yardage situations. He’s rushed for seven touchdowns and has a long of 51 yards, so you know that he has deceptive speed.

“I just don’t want the other team to know that,” he said.

In a few weeks, it will be his offense, and if there’s anything the people of West Virginia must do, it is recognize that he is not Patrick White and will do things his way.

If they do that, he believes he won’t have to worry about the inevitable comparisons.

E-mail Bob Hertzel at

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