Former NFL player Kevin Faulk coaches son's high school team

Former NFL player Kevin Faulk coaches son's high school team


Former NFL player Kevin Faulk coaches son's high school team


CARENCRO, La. — In high school, Kevin Faulk Sr. was an outstanding talent, a fan favorite and in the end, a superstar.

Behind his superb vision, shiftiness, ability to make people miss and game-breaking speed, Faulk went from football player, to legend, to hero and to those faithful followers of Carencro High – a football God.

After an illustrious college and pro football career, in which he left LSU as the school’s all-time leading rusher in yards, touchdowns and all-purpose yards, before spending the next 13 years in the NFL with New England where he ended his career as the team’s all-time leader in career all-purpose yards (12,349) and return yards (5,041) en route to helping the Patriots win three Super Bowl Championships.

“He’s aware of it,” Faulk Sr. said of his son’s knowledge of his legacy at Carencro High. “He’s aware of it more than I knew he was because I never brought it up to him. That’s not me. I’m not the type of guy to talk about ‘Hey this is what I’ve done.’ I want him to be him. I want to let him understand that God blessed me with the ability to do everything I did in my career. You have to earn your blessings from him.”

Since his retirement in the fall of 2012, Faulk has transitioned from NFL player to high school coach at his alma-mater Carencro High.

During the process, his greatest joy has been the luxury of seeing his only son – Kevin Faulk Jr. – not only playing for the Bears, but wearing his previously retired No. 3 jersey in the backfield.

“I’m an easy going guy and I never really thought about it until he brought it up,” Faulk Sr. said. “‘(He said) Dad you know I’m going play at Carencro High (and) wear your number as well.’ You laugh about it when he’s younger and you don’t think about it, then when the opportunity/situation comes, you’re like… wow. It happened. For picture day, is when it really happened. You knew you got the number for him, but when you see him taking the picture… It was like this is it. This is what we talked about probably 10 years ago.”

Faulk Jr., who is a 5-4 150-pound junior running back for the Bears after playing the past two seasons at Walpole High School in Massachusetts, is fully aware of the legacy behind his name and the expectations that comes with being the son of quite possibly the greatest high school football player the Acadiana area has ever produced.

“It’s hard being Kevin Faulk’s son,” Faulk Jr. said. “People always look at you differently. They look at you like you supposed to be this guy (and) you’re supposed to act like you’re rich and all that stuff. But that’s not me.”

Coming back down South to play football where his father did was the first big step, but Faulk Jr. took it one step farther. He really evoked memories of the Golden Bears’ glory days by deciding to put that infamous No. 3 Carencro High jersey again.

“I wanted to feel the hype and all that stuff because I want to live up to the expectations,” Faulk Jr. said of his decision to wear his father’s jersey number. “So, if you want to live up to the expectations, then you have to wear the same number as him. (I wanted the pressure) because that will just make me work harder.”

Although Faulk Jr. has embraced the pressure that comes with being Kevin Faulk’s son, his father has refused to compound those already placed expectations with pressure from him as well.

“I never did,” Faulk Sr. said if he worried about pushing his son too hard to excel athletically. “That was never my motto and I guess that was just the way I was raised. He has to be him. Now it’s hard for him, but he has to try to be him. I would never do that to him because he’s my son before he’s a football player.”

While Faulk Sr. admits he isn’t pushing his son to accomplish the things he’s been able to accomplish, trying to find that balance between father and coach is still an ongoing process.

“I never knew I was going to coach him until last year,” Faulk Sr. said. “But at the same time, you have the idea and when it came about I did talk to a few people who had coached their son and they told me that it’s hard. But you just have to understand that it’s your job and he has to understand that’s pretty much his job. You have to separate it, but it’s hard. Trust me it’s hard. Still looking for it. I’m not afraid to say it. Still looking for it.”

When watching his son play, Faulk Sr. sees a lot about his son that he’s impressed with, while Faulk Jr. sees a lot of similarities between his style compared to that of his father.

“He’s got good feet,” Faulk Sr. said. “Real good feet. It’s funny because he just began playing running back like three years ago. He was a (defensive back) so, he’s still learning the position of running back. He was a defensive back that played defensive back for a very long time.”

“The similarities are toughness, hard working and doing whatever we got to do to make our team better,” Faulk Jr. said.

Faulk Sr. has given what he believes is the best advice he can to his son in order to help him deal with the expectations from people on the outside that have grand ideas about him being the second coming “You’re not going to be me.”

“It’s hard to give him any kind of advice, because no matter what people are going to judge,” Faulk Sr. said. “People are going to want to compare him to me. But if he’s understood what I’ve been trying to tell him for the longest that you’re not going to be me. Be you. Control what you can control. You can’t control everybody else expectations, but you can control who Kevin is.”

No one knows what the future may hold, but that hasn’t stopped Faulk Jr. from setting lofty goals for himself as a football player.

“My goals for myself are to attend LSU, wear No. 3 again (and) hopefully go to the NFL,” Faulk Jr. said.

But if he falls short in fulfilling the expectations that comes with the name and the jersey number as well as the lofty goals he’s set for himself, Faulk Jr. stated it’ll be OK.

“Yes sir,” Faulk Jr. said. “That just means it wasn’t meant for me.”

Eric Narcisse writes for The Advertiser, a Gannett property.


More USA TODAY High School Sports