Lorenzo Doss put on a No. 8 St. Augustine jersey Wednesday afternoon at Wesley Barrow Stadium, just like old times.
Well, not really old times.
More like just yesterday.
Doss is just 21 years old, not much older than some of the same guys who were standing nearby in the St. Aug dugout, as he threw the ceremonial first pitch at his alma mater’s season opener.
Four short years ago, he was one of them, a three-sport star at St. Aug roaming center field, hauling in passes and running track.
Three weeks ago, he became a Super Bowl champion as a rookie cornerback for the Denver Broncos.
Not bad for a guy who doesn’t turn 22 until April.
“It’s humbling,” said Doss. “I was the youngest on the team. It’s a surreal feeling.”
Doss, in fact, is one of the youngest players to ever win a Super Bowl.
He was born in 1994, the same year Peyton Manning was graduating from Newman.
So it’s understandable how humbling it was for Doss to be a part of the championship parade in Denver earlier this month.
He compared that parade to Mardi Gras.
“It was unbelievable,” Doss said. “There were over a million people. It felt like the whole city of Denver was there.”
Doss played in just six games this season after he gave up his senior season at Tulane. He didn’t record any tackles, but he enjoyed the ride.
“It was a learning experience,” he said. “I was around great guys the whole year. Each day I was just trying to find something to get better at.”
Making it even more special was he got a chance to play at least one season with Manning, whom most think will retire any day.
“It was great to play with a legend like that,” Doss said. “He had a great career. I was always in his ear trying to get information out of him.”
Doss didn’t have to learn to be competitive from Manning, though.
He got that growing up in an athletic home in New Orleans East.
His big brother Lee — who also wore No. 8 at St. Aug — went on to play football at Southern University. Younger sister Tiffany is a catcher on the Grambling softball team.
The parents were athletes too. Wanda played high school sports at St. Mary’s and Lee, Sr. played high school ball in Mississippi.
“Lorenzo was always following his big brother,” said Lee Sr. “Whatever Lee was doing, Lorenzo was doing. He had to go through same drills as older brother. ... We always taught them to just keep getting better at what you’re doing. Just one day at a time, keep getting better.”
Doss found something else he may have to work on Wednesday.
His ceremonial first pitch sailed a Denver-like mile high above the catcher’s head and made its way to the backstop. His brother, by the way, threw a perfect strike.
Doss was tough on himself when asked to grade his pitch.
“It’s gotta be an ‘F,’ ” he said with a grin. “I haven’t thrown a baseball in a long time.”
Yeah, it’s been a while.
But at 21, it seems like just yesterday.