The Cranberry Eagle
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Article published November 28, 2012

Finding a home
Raiders’ QB Brown commits to James Madison

Sam Tallarico
Butler Eagle

JACKSON TWP — Jordan Brown had a good feeling about James Madison University this past summer — and the feeling never went away.

Brown, the all-time passing leader for the Seneca Valley football team, committed to the Harrisonburg, Va., school after attending the Dukes’ season finale against Old Dominion last Saturday.
“ I attended a camp down there this past summer,” said Brown. “It helped a lot. I saw the stadium and the facilities. They have an amazing football team and tradition.”
The Dukes, a Division I-AA school which competes in the Colonial Athletic Association, offered Brown a scholarship three weeks ago and Brown mulled the offer before accepting it.
“My sense was if (JMU) offered, he was accepting,” said Raiders coach Don Holl.
Brown was coming off another tremendous campaign for the Raiders (10-2), who finished runner-up in the Northern Eight and earned a spot in the WPIAL Quad A semifinals.
Brown completed 126-of-210 passes for 1,901 yards, 21 touchdowns and just three interceptions.
His performance came on the heels of a junior season that saw him throw for 2,261 yards and 16 scores. He rushed for 1,070 yards and nine touchdowns in those two seasons combined.
He holds the school career mark with 5,427 yards and 46 touchdowns.
Holl, however, has seen Brown continue to grow since he took over mid-season his sophomore year and threw for more than 1,000 yards and nine scores in just five starts.
“What’s satisfying as a high school coach is to see him develop,” Holl said. “When I met him as a freshman, he was very athletic, but spindly and young.
“He grew up physically and mentally. He grew up as a good player. I saw him go from a boy to a man,” Holl added.
Brown could have waited to see what other offers could have poured in, since he could sign in February, but is content with his choice.
“It’s a long process,” Brown said about the recruitment game. “It started my sophomore year. I met my destination for the next level.”
The Dukes are coming off a 7-4 campaign with redshirt junior Justin Thorpe — who started nine games — coming back for one more season. James Madison will also have Michael Birdsong — who made two starts — returning as well as a redshirt freshman and two other freshmen.
“I looked into it,” Brown said, “and I figured (Thorpe) has one more year and I could learn from him and learn leadership from him.”
“There was some discussion that initially he could be a quarterback or he could be a receiver,” Holl said. “He’s got such a neat skill set. He’s so athletic. He can run in space, he can catch. He has all the tools to be successful.”
Brown said the idea of playing another position doesn’t phase him.
“They saw my speed in the 40 and they liked it,” Brown said. “I asked if they would like me at any other positions and they said wide receiver.
“I tried it. I didn’t mind it. I’m an athlete before I’d consider myself a true quarterback. As long as I’m out there playing,” Brown added.
Brown, who broke many of his brother C.J.’s records, has already discussed how quick the game is at the next level with his sibling, who plays for the University of Maryland.
“I definitely need to gain more weight, become more flexible and become faster and get a stronger arm,” Brown said.