Impressive talent in play at 7-on-7 tourney _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- St. James quarterback Lowell Narcisse (2) throws an interception during the Airo 7-on-7 Adidas Championship Series, Thursday, June 16, 2016, at St. Amant High School in St. Amant, La.

ORLANDO, Fla. — About two weeks ago, Lowell Narcisse hit the running phase of his rehabilitation from knee surgery.

It’s a good thing, too. The St. James quarterback and LSU commitment had weight to lose.

“In August, I couldn’t really move or anything. It was hard for me to lose anything,” said Narcisse, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament in August. “Now I’ve got on a diet and able to burn off the weight.”

Narcisse arrived here Tuesday afternoon as one of several seniors invited to participate in the Under Armour All-American Game, arguably the most high-profile high school all-star event. The game is scheduled for Sunday at Camping World Stadium, a day after the 19th-ranked Tigers (7-4) meet No. 15 Louisville (9-3) at the same site.

Narcisse has been cleared to play in the game, he said, and he’s been cleared to practice with the rest of the invitees this week in Orlando, but he won’t chance his recently healed knee. After all, he’s got “bigger things to get ready for, like spring ball,” he said.

Narcisse, the ninth-ranked dual-threat quarterback in the class, is scheduled to enroll at LSU in January, one of seven commitments expected to join the team at the midyear. Classes begin Jan. 11, and Narcisse arrives Jan. 8. He’s expected to be a full participant in spring practice, he said. The final day of his rehabilitation plan is, for now, set for Feb. 17.

“I’ll participate in all the (spring) drills like everybody else,” he said.

He has set expectations high: Narcisse wants to win the starting quarterback job during a competition that’s expected to be somewhat open, coach Ed Orgeron said Monday.

“The best guy is going to play,” Narcisse said that new offensive coordinator Matt Canada told him in a conversation recently. “For example, he played a walk-on freshman at Wisconsin. It doesn’t matter what year or how old. Best guy is going to play.”

"Obviously, Danny (Etling) is a starter right now," Orgeron said on his radio show Monday, "but that doesn’t mean the competition won’t be open and the best man may win."

In the immediate future, Narcisse is focused on rehab. He began running two weeks ago, and he's working on strengthening that quadriceps muscle. Once he arrives at LSU, he’ll begin agility and cutting drills, he said, as part of a five-day-a-week rehab program.

And those 6-7 pounds he gained this fall? They’ll be long gone by then, he says.

Preparing the Tigers

LSU will hold its first practice in Orlando around lunch time Wednesday, and its new permanent head coach is hoping for heat.

“(We) need to get used to the heat,” Orgeron said Tuesday night after the team’s arrival.

The high in Orlando on Wednesday is 82 degrees — about 10 degrees cooler than forecasted temperatures for Saturday’s kickoff against Louisville.

LSU will practice Thursday at 10:30 a.m. ET, as Orgeron simulates conditions for the early-morning bowl game. Kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. ET.

The Tigers are treating this week as a normal game week. They practiced Monday and Tuesday in Baton Rouge. Wednesday’s practice will be “Turnover Wednesday,” Orgeron said, keeping with the season’s daily practice themes.

Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter, @RossDellenger.