ST. JAMES, La. — Put yourself in Lowell Narcisse’s shoes for just a minute.
Narcisse, a 4-star dual-threat quarterback, is making his way back from a second torn ACL and third injury in the past 19 months, and is nearly at 100 percent. In that span, he committed and de-committed from Auburn, and the same to LSU.
Narcisse put the finishing touches on his recruitment on Dec. 19 when he re-committed to the Tigers, solidifying his path to LSU and without question embodying the much sought-after answer that fans are seeking under center.
It may be a happy ending, as of now, but not every step along the way was well-received.
Every single day, Narcisse wakes up to criticism on his Twitter feed from fans from multiple programs, LSU included, regarding his decision to commit, reopen his recruitment and his rehab.
As mentioned before, this isn’t Narcisse’s first knee injury. He torn the ACL in his right knee in May 2015. Then, he tore the left ACL last August.
Narcisse understands what comes with the turf and is no longer bothered by what naysayers write about his decision-making.
But he is keeping track.
Narcisse tends to retweet or like criticisms sent his direction each and every day. It’s not intended to make him angry or build resentment, only serve as motivation as he mounts his much-anticipated comeback.
“It’s something where whenever I work out, I think about those things that people say to make me grind harder,” Narcisse told SEC Country. “I’ve been the underdog in this situation. People can say what they want — to commit to Auburn or to Memphis — and they still have all that negativity. You can’t pay attention to it.
“It just makes me grind even harder. All I can do is think about the little things and prepare myself.”
In October, the 6-foot-3, 225-pound quarterback was already well ahead of schedule in his rehab. He had resumed jogging and throwing, and began to put pressure on his knee.
Narcisse remains ahead in his rehab and is now running. He could even participate in the Under Armour All-America Game workouts, if he wanted to, but is electing to err on the side of caution as LSU spring practices approach.
“We’re doing some straight-ahead running and working out a little bit more, and a lot more football drills,” Narcisse said. “I could do some on-field drills, but I won’t do too much. I’m still ahead of schedule, but I wouldn’t risk anything.”
Turning pain into positives
That’s a lesson learned last summer when again Narcisse was ahead in rehab from his 2015 injury. However, he injured his other knee in the final minutes of St. James’ (La.) jamboree, costing him his senior season.
That not only forced Narcisse to start the rehab process over but humbled the 18-year-old quarterback.
Narcisse now cherishes every opportunity at his disposal and is resolved to take advantage. That begins with spring practices in March and every chance to improve along the way.
Those who cast doubt on him on the way, well, are fueling the quarterback.
“I’m feeling great,” Narcisse said with a smile. “I think it made me hungry again by getting back on the field and just getting ready to getting back to play again.
“We’re building,” he said. “A lot of people might say something or do things, but those people but might not be for you. Those people weren’t there for me when I had my ACL injuries. They weren’t there for me when I couldn’t sleep at night, so it doesn’t matter. This is about the people that have cared about me and have my best interest at heart, the people that matter to me.”
Perhaps more impressive than battling through a second major knee injury or navigating through a winding final month of his recruitment is just how much Narcisse endured through his Twitter mentions.
“He’s a bust” -@Traww_Barrows
“Isn’t @JrJr228 knees tore up or was tore up! LSU don’t need him. Let him and his bad knees go to Auburn where they’re loaded at QB!” -@Bayou_Laker
Yeah, that’s just a typical day for Narcisse, who at the time, was contemplating his future, attempting to take final exams and rehab his knee.
Again, this isn’t the first adversity Narcisse had to overcome. It likely won’t be the last, either.
With the recruiting process in the rear-view mirror and his high-school career complete, all that’s left for the star dual-threat quarterback is to finish rehab while enrolling at LSU in a matter of days. Before that, he would just like to issue out one last round of thank yous to all those who have doubted him this fall.
You’ve only made him stronger.
“This is mainly every other day, but it doesn’t bother me,” Narcisse said, shaking his head. “Most people don’t know me personally. They don’t know my middle name or watch my film. They know me from what they’ve heard and I can’t pay attention. After I made my decision, it was over. I never have to look back again.”
All ratings are from the 247Sports composite rankings unless otherwise noted.
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