No Place Like Home For Seastrunk
By Bill Lund
Three years ago, Lache Seastrunk was a five-star running back out of Temple, TX, with a rare combination of speed and power. A high school track star who once clocked a 10.33-second 100-meter dash and had the college football world frothing at the mouth to obtain his services.
He arrived at Oregon with loads of talent and the burden of having his name dragged through the mud due to potential recruiting violations committed in association with his name. Perhaps it was this burden that anchored his opportunity to break into the Oregon backfield his first year before he was redshirted. After his first season, Seastrunk sought a new start, a place where he could become the player he was recruited to be, far away from the negative aura that surrounded his tumultuous year with the Ducks. Seastrunk returned to his native Texas and transferred to Baylor, 34 miles north of his hometown.
After sitting out a second season due to NCAA transfer regulations, Seastrunk finally got his opportunity to play football. At the beginning of the 2012 season, the rust was apparent. Seastrunk was a non-factor in the first seven games for the Bears, gaining only 181 yards. Once Seastrunk got his game back, he hit his stride during conference play with 831 yards over the final six games.
Seastrunk finished his breakout 2012 season with 1,012 yards, averaging 7.7 yards per carry. On his six-game tear, Baylor went 5-1, including a win over UCLA in the Holiday Bowl.
Seastrunk’s return to football relevancy reestablished his confidence to the point where he predicted he would win the 2013 Heisman Trophy. Such brash talk is usually followed by ‘experts’ disparaging such claims, but his 136-yard, one-touchdown MVP performance against the Bruins may have been enough to convince prognosticators that there is validity in his belief.
Seastrunk (5-foot-9, 210 pounds) has decent size for a running back. His big-time speed and explosiveness that is evident in his play. He has a reported 4.4 40 and a 44-inch vertical leap.
Seastrunk plays with a low center of gravity and runs with power. His strength are runs to the outside, but he has the ability to hit the hole on inside runs with a burst of power. His ultra-quick feet make him deadly in the open field, and he tacklers miss with his precise cuts and acceleration. Despite his two-year hiatus, Seastrunk shows great vision and the patience of a veteran allowing blocking schemes to develop. If Seastrunk has a weakness, it’s his pass protection. He is not physical against rushers and appears to shy away from contact in pass pro situations.
Gone are the whispers of negativity that surrounded his tenure at Oregon. Even with Oregon facing possible sanctions, Seastrunk was not implicated in any wrongdoing. Seastrunk has rediscovered himself at Baylor, which will be a potential boom for the Bears. After their end-of-year run and Holiday Bowl victory, the Bears are looking to challenge for a Big 12 title in 2013. Much of their success will be determined by how much Seastrunk can improve upon his first season in college football. Should Seastrunk have the Heisman year he predicts, or even close to it, he may find himself on top of draft boards in 2014.