Everyone knows about the recruitment of Jakhi Douglas or Maason Smith. Those guys have been collecting collegiate offers for the better part of 18 months now.
But arguably the fastest-growing local collegiate commodity actually resides about 25 minutes across the way over at Thibodaux High School.
Meet receiver Kyren Lacy.
Lacy is on fire to start his senior season — a current UL-Lafayette commitment who has an offer sheet that grows more by the day.
Lacy has a college body. He stands 6-feet, 3-inches and weighs 210 pounds.
Several times in the early stages of the season, the tall, lanky receiver has overwhelmed defenses with his ability to leap high in the air and pluck the football away, while also keeping his balance, then working down the field.
“I compare myself to Antonio Brown,” Lacy said. “Because to me, I’m going get everything.”
For Lacy, his motivation for the season is his love for competition.
It’s a love that was taken away from him last season — a splash of reality that he said he will remember for the rest of his life.
Lacy has been a multi-sport standout at Thibodaux his entire career.
In addition to being a football standout, Lacy also is a big-time player on the Tigers’ boys’ basketball team.
Last year, Lacy did his thing in football, posting a solid season for a Tigers’ team that struggled with youth and inexperience, posting just a 3-7 record.
He also started the basketball season with the Tigers and helped the team early in the year.
But when the fall semester ended, Lacy was put on the shelf by an academic issue.
Suddenly, that love for competition was burning as bright as ever, but the opportunity to represent his school was now gone.
While Thibodaux won the boys’ basketball state championship, Lacy was left on the sidelines — unable to play.
“When it first happened, I didn’t know what to do,” Lacy said. “It felt like a dream. I just wanted to give up on everything and not play sports again. … I was really hurt from not being able to play in that state championship game.”
So Lacy soaked it all in, then fought back.
He hit the books hard throughout the spring semester and summer to regain his eligibility.
All the while, he worked hard to get bigger, faster and stronger.
He attended collegiate camps and showcased his skills. Through that, the list of offers grew.
On the field with the Tigers, he’s been a force so far in 2019 — a guy that opposing defenses are having a hard time staying in front of.
Lacy said the day he was ruled academically ineligible changed his life for the better, and all of the success he’s having today stems back to the pain he felt on that day and on the day he had to watch his teammates hoist a trophy without him.
“That was God giving me a wake up call,” Lacy said. “That hurt me so bad. It made me want to work harder every day and work for what I have now. These past few months have really opened up my eyes and I never want to feel that type of pain again.”
So now, he’s delivering pain to opposing defenses.
In both the fall scrimmage and in the jamboree, Lacy scored touchdowns.
He said he knows he gets a lot of the credit for Thibodaux’s successes, but said he also wants to give credit to the Tigers’ offensive line and also quarterback Luke Alleman — a guy who helped push him through the offseason.
Alleman and Lacy have chemistry. They fit one another like a glove.
When the pocket breaks down and Alleman has to make a quick decision, he knows where Lacy is at all times. He also knows that if he throws to a spot, his big receiver will jump up and make a play.
“Luke and I have been putting in a lot of work over the summer,” Lacy said. “There were days when I didn’t want to go run routes and he got me out of the bed to come run. Now, all that hard work is coming together and we have a lot to prove after a 3-7 season last year.”
That 3-7 season is something no one expects this fall.
The Tigers are 1-0 after beating Riverside on Friday — showcasing some of their experience after last year’s struggles.
Lacy said the Tigers are better this year — both on and off the field.
He said the team is going to make a push, both because of their talent, but also because of their mindset.
“We have started strong as a team. We’re starting to come together on and off the field,” Lacy said. “We want to stay together as a team, don’t listen to the outsiders and this year, we want to take everything personal. Those are our goals.”•