Life without Lowell: St. James facing 2015 without one of the best QBs in the nation

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, August 5, 2015

VACHERIE — Although quarterback Lowell Narcisse recently committed to Auburn University, he is sitting out his junior season at St. James High School with a torn ACL, opening up the door for another underclassman.

Whether sophomore Demarcus Williams can live up to the legacy left in the wake of Narcisse has left behind remains to be seen.

Since taking over the reins at St. James in his freshman season, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Narcisse has posted remarkable numbers the past two years, passing for 5,134 yards and 58 touchdowns and rushing for 2,039 yards and 30 touchdowns. That was enough to start a battle between LSU and Auburn to land him despite tearing his ACL in the spring game against Chalmette. Auburn eventually won out when Narcisse committed in late July.

Those are some big shoes for Williams to fill.

“We’re going with a sophomore,” St. James head coach Dwain Jenkins said. “So there is going to be some growing pains there. He is young and he is going to be making his first start at quarterback. He is replacing one of the guys who is one of the best starting quarterbacks in the country.”

Jenkins said St. James had Williams in mind for a future role as quarterback, but did not think his chance would come so soon.

“He is a kid that when I came in 2013 we identified as a potential quarterback of the future,” he said. “He was a year lower than Lowell so we knew that immediate playing time might not be there.”

However, Jenkins said Williams was too good to sit while waiting on Narcisse to graduate.

“He was probably one of our best 22 players, and it didn’t make sense for him to just get reps under Lowell,” Jenkins said.

Williams first saw his way onto the St. James roster starting in a few games at wide receiver as an eighth grader. He began last season at wide receiver, but was forced to sit out the first half of the year after a week one injury. When he came back later in the season it was as a defensive back.

While it will definitely be difficult to keep the offensive pace Narcisse established over his two years as starting quarterback, Jenkins said he feels Williams is a good fit.

“He has some varsity experience, just not at quarterback, which is little bit different,” Jenkins said. “But he has taken up the challenge. We told him we were going to move him back to quarterback and he has worked really hard this summer. He has shown up and worked every single day and put his time in and studied outside of the practices to go and throw.”

Williams will have help though. In addition to playing defense, 2014 All State middle linebacker Aquindas Steib, who has received scholarship offers from Nicholls State and Northwestern  State University of Louisiana, will help out at running back.

Jenkins said it is unrealistic to expect Williams to do it all like Narcisse did, but he feels his team can come together under the sophomore.

“(Williams) has done all of the things that you would ask a starting quarterback to do throughout the season,” Jenkins said. “If he would go ahead and build on that, I would expect him to have some success this year.”