THIBODAUX – Lowell Narcisse’s participation at the annual Pro Football Camp held Friday on the Nicholls campus can be considered a favor for a friend.
The camp began 12 years ago by sports agent Albert Elias. Elias would bring over some of his professional football clients to instruct area high school players one day each summer.
Elias died in 2012 at the age of 42 and his brother, Dr. David Elias, decided to keep the camp running in honor of his brother.
Dr. Elias is part of the OrthoLa and Sports Medicine Center at Thibodaux Regional that sponsors the event.
Narcisse, a native of nearby Vacherie, drove in from San Antonio, where the quarterback will begin his first year as a sophomore for the University of Texas at San Antonio Roadrunners in the fall.
“Dr. Elias reached out and told me it would be great. He’s always been good to me and my family ever since my freshman year (in high school). So why not come out and help these guys and inspire them like I wanted someone to do that for me at that age?” said Narcisse.
Things seemed to come naturally for the big, strong dual-threat quarterback, who started his freshman year at St. James.
He passed for 2,013 yards and 27 touchdowns while rushing for 637 yards and 12 touchdowns as a freshman. He followed that up with 3,124 yards passing with 31 touchdowns along with 1,402 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns as a sophomore.
That caught the eye of major college recruiters and Narcisse verbally committed to Auburn going into his junior season.
Then came the injuries.
Narcisse torn the Anterior Cruciate Ligament in one of his knees at the start of the 2015 season. He managed to return for the playoffs, helping the Wildcats reach the Class 3A state championship game.
After surgery and rigorous rehabilitation, Narcisse’s knee test even stronger than it was prior to the injury and he was declared fit entering his senior season.
Narcisse tore the ACL on his opposite knee and missed all of his senior year in 2016.
The quarterback got to know Dr. Elias quite well.
“He was always the first person I went to, even after I tore my ACL. Even though he didn’t do my surgery, he was the first person to tell me both my ACLs were torn, so I always trusted him and his staff,” said Narcisse.
Despite the knee injuries, Narcisse still was considered one of the nation’s top dual-quarterback threats for the Class of 2017.
Although Auburn still wanted him, Narcisse decommitted from one Tiger team to sign with another that was close to home – LSU.
Giving him additional time to fully recover, Narcisse was red-shirted his freshman year.
After getting caught up in a numbers crunch at quarterback following the arrival of Joe Burrow from Ohio State, Narcisse transferred only weeks before the start of the 2018 season to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.
“I hadn’t played ball going on three years and so I was just ready to play ball again. It was a different experience. I think that has helped to shape me into the man that I am today,” said Narcisse.
Because he had been at the school for only a matter of days prior to the start of the season, Narcisse was to split time with Chance Lovertich. In the season opener against Mississippi Delta, Narcisse scored on a 34-yard run on his first rushing attempt of the season. He finished with two rushing touchdowns while going 4 of 5 through the air for 132 yards and an additional two touchdowns.
“There were so many butterflies going on. You look so forward to the moment, and when it’s finally there, it’s like, ‘now it’s time.’ After my first run and breaking it for a touchdown, it was just, ‘thank God,’ and I was finally get the opportunity to play the game I love again,” Narcisse said.
Ironically, Lovertich suffered a knee injury, giving Narcisse the starting position for a while.
“I went there two weeks before the season started, trying to pick up everything so the coach decided to just split time until I got comfortable. He ended up having a knee injury that caused me to go in and take the job and I played phenomenally well over the next few games and then I had an injury that kind of set me off for the last couple of weeks,” said Narcisse.
An injury to his back diminished Narcisse’s effectiveness. Playing sparingly over the last few weeks of a 7-2 season, Narcisse finished with 506 yards passing and three touchdowns while rushing for 192 yards and six touchdowns.
Now, it’s back to the Football Bowl Subdivision level and the UTSA Roadrunners.
“I think the program is doing a real good job of coming along,” Narcisse said of UTSA. “Last year, I wasn’t there, so I can’t speak on what went on. Now, I see where we need improvement and I think Coach (Frank) Wilson did a great job of bringing in me and some of those guys who have been at bigger programs and know what it’s like to change a program. I feel like we are moving in the right direction and just taking one step at a time.”
Steps now taken with a healthy pair of knees