Knee injuries can be tough, and nobody knows that better than 2017 LSU dual-threat quarterback commit Lowell Narcisse.
The four-star recruit from Saint James, Louisiana, relayed some bad news to LSU fans on Twitter on Friday night.
“I know this is probably what everybody didn’t expect,” Narcisse said. “My MRI just came back and, yes, I tore my other ACL. Thanks for all your prayers and call[s]. Go Wildcats.”
— 2⃣ Reasons (@JrJr238) August 27, 2016
According to a report from Shea Dixon of 247Sports, Narcisse was hurt on a 17-yard run for St. James on Thursday. Before his injury, he had gone 11-of-17 passing for 113 yards and two touchdowns (one interception). True to his dual-threat tag, he had also rushed for 69 yards on six carries.
St. James ended up beating Donaldsonville, 28-12.
ACL tears are never good news, but to make things worse for Narcisse, this is the second time he’s suffered the injury. In May of 2015 he tore the ACL on his other leg during a spring game, per Dixon. Narcisse was able to make it back for St. James for the end of the season. He helped lead the team to the Class 3A State Championship Game.
That story had a good ending.
Unfortunately for this story, the timeline of this injury may make it very tough for Narcisse to play football again this season. Of course anything can happen — and it’s worth keeping in mind that this writer isn’t a doctor — but it doesn’t appear to be favorable.
What’s important to stress is that this shouldn’t affect or recast views of Narcisse’s long-term future; it’s still very bright. Yes, he’s going to have to travel a hard road to recovery, but it’s not as though this is a completely unheard-of event.
The body is a strange mechanism, and in sports it seems all too common that one injury — especially in the leg — is ultimately accompanied by another similar injury. Perhaps it’s the overcompensation that comes with trying to walk with an injured knee — the other one naturally does more work during the process of recovery.
There’s also the subconscious overcompensation athletes put on their bodies after injures. Athletes have to deal with that mental wall when it comes to actually using the injured leg in competition again. For some, it could mean (for instance) not cutting in one direction if they can help it and instead cutting or planting with the other leg until there’s a comfort level again.
Narcisse’s dual-threat nature means he’ll be cutting, planting and making defenders miss — and/or taking a few more hits than the normal pro-style quarterback would. It’s not exactly surprising that Narcisse hurt his other leg, so there’s not much reason to be concerned.
At this juncture he’s the perfect fit for a redshirt season at LSU, which would give him a whole year to learn the system, get comfortable with college and — most importantly — train, rehab and get stronger with a well-paid college football training staff.
If he goes that route, he’d enter his redshirt freshman year a bit rusty, but he’d also enter the season with two seasons of rest under his belt.
If the body has a “hit counter” before it finally gets tired of the wear and tear of football, that’s two seasons of avoiding hits — and simply working on being healthy and strong — that Narcisse will have been gifted.
At that point his natural talent should allow him to compete, and that’s when his challenge will begin.
Still, consider the rankings and his potential. Narcisse is ranked the No. 6 dual-threat quarterback in the 2017 class. Alabama, Auburn and Clemson also wanted his commitment.
He’s a talented player who still has a promising future ahead of him, so there’s no reason for Narcisse to panic or get down on himself.
Perhaps he’ll build a hunger for coming back stronger. Perhaps he will take that redshirt season and dedicate himself to the craft of being a college football quarterback.
Perhaps this injury will be a blessing in disguise.