- Feature Story
- Eric Richey
- March 25, 2017 - 1:04am
After battling back from a pair of ACL injuries that derailed his final two years at St. James, LSU freshman quarterback Lowell Narcisse has been named the 2016 winner of the Riverparishfootball.com/Nick Forsythe Courage Award.
“I’m blessed to get one of these awards for people to see what I’ve been through and how I handle the situation,” said Narcisse. “To be presented with this award it means a lot to me.”
The award is named after former St. Charles student manager/trainer Nick Forsythe who despite being diagnosed with juvenile dermatomyositis at the age of three, displayed courage, leadership, work ethic, and a positive attitude during his five years working with the Comets football program.
“It’s an honor to see that (Lowell) not only excelled on the high school level but he’s also going to excel on the college level too,” said Forsythe. “I think he’s going to have a good career as a player at LSU and it’s an honor to give him this award.”
In an injury-shortened prep career, Narcisse accounted for 99 touchdowns in 30 games (13 in 2013, 13 in 2014, 4 in 2015). His last full season, Narcisse threw for over 3,100 passing yards, rushed for over 1500 yards, and accounted for 60 touchdowns as a sophomore.
Despite missing most of his junior year, and all of his senior season, Narcisse remained focused and upbeat.
“It’s all about trusting God’s plan,” said Narcisse. “He makes no mistakes and realizing that everything happens for a reason. I think those things happened to put me in a better position when I get (to LSU) so I can work harder and be a leader in our community and to our football team.
It was frustrating knowing that you can come out and have a lot of success and just not being able to play your senior year with a lot of people you grew up with. It was something I had to deal with a long time and it bothered me for awhile but I had to move on and come back to the reality of life.”
His two prep head coaches Dwain Jenkins and Robert Valdez saw first-hand Narcisse display the qualities that led to the honor.
“Lowell Narcisse is the perfect example of what Nick represents,” said Jenkins who coached Narcisse for three years at St. James. “Lowell’s been dealt the challenges a lot of kids his age wouldn’t be able to handle.
During his junior season he continued to keep the guys upbeat and rally around (recovering from injury). A lot of people don’t know he had some opportunities with IMG (Academy) potentially to leave and go finish his high school career playing at this elite school playing with the best-of-the-best around the country and he chose to stay home at play with the guys he grew up with. (Narcisse) turned down those opportunities and wanted to try to lead his team to a state championship and he was able to come back during his junior year. He was able to get us on the doorstep and get us into the (3A State Championship game). That’s what he wanted to do his senior year. For him to be back on the field (at LSU) already right now practicing is just a testament to how he’s persevered and overcome obstacles over the past two years.”
“I’m very, very proud of him,” said Valdez who coached Narcisse his senior season at St. James. “He’s really been through a lot. I think that’s going to help him as he grows and give him a chance at LSU with all the pressures that come with that (quarterback) position, he’s already going to know how to handle it.
One of the things that impressed me the most is that at such a young age the burden of responsibility that Lowell carried. Basically (he) carried the whole community, our school, our football program, and having to deal with a second setback with a knee injury. To still be upbeat and still be there for his teammates, for our team, and for his coaches says a lot about who he is and the resolve and the character he has.”
Narcisse was an early enrollee at LSU and is now competing at a crowded quarterback position during spring practice.
“I’m feeling great,” said Narcisse. “My knee is back at 100%. I’m out here competing for the (starting quarterback) job and it’s going day-by-day."
As for any messages to anyone trying to deal with adversity in their own life?
“Tough times builds character,” said Narcisse. “Life is not going to go your way all the time and sometimes you just have to deal with it. Just know that trouble won’t always last, keep fighting, and hard work always pays off.”