By Tyler Alley
Former Oregon running back and Temple native Lache Seastrunk enrolled at Baylor last week and has become a member of the Baylor football team.
“I’m ecstatic,” Seastrunk said. “I know what I can do. People [have been] counting me out. My ambition is my family and the good man above.”
The University of Oregon granted redshirt freshman Seastrunk unconditional release Aug. 20. Oregon head coach Chip Kelly said Seastrunk came to him and said he was homesick. Seastrunk said he also has family members suffering through some illnesses.
“It’s really because of my family and my grandmother,” Seastrunk said. “My granddad, who had emphysema, he was in and out of the hospital; my grandmother had Hepatitis C.”
Seastrunk played running back at Temple high school and earned prep All-American. He rushed for 4,127 yards, 52 touchdowns (32 career games), and came out as a five-star prospect. Head coach Art Briles said he was happy to see Seastrunk on the practice field.
“I think it’s good,” Briles said. “It’s good for him. He’s settled. He’s got a home. Now what he has to do is refocus his vision and his mission. The football part will take care of itself. Right now, we got a football team and Lache just happens to be a member of it”
Seastrunk leaves a program currently dealing with controversy. The NCAA is investigating Houston-based recruiting service owner Willie Lyles for possibly steering players to Oregon, which would be an NCAA violation. Oregon paid Lyles and Complete Scouting Services $25,000 last year for scouting reports on players, which is within NCAA rules. The recruiting material Oregon received for the payment was outdated, however, leading critics to question what service was actually being paid for.
Lyles said in interviews that the service he provided went beyond what a scouting service should and that he “made a mistake.” He also said Oregon never asked him or paid him to guide players to their school.
Now removed from the turmoil surrounding Oregon, Lache took the practice field Wednesday for the first time with his new teammates.
“I’m excited,” Seastrunk said. “I can’t wait to go out here and run around. It’s going to feel so good to run around. It’s a wonderful feeling. It’s good to be back home, back in the Texas heat, back in the Texas sunshine. All I can say is God has been good to me.”
Due to NCAA compliance rules for transfers, Seastrunk will have to sit out this season, but will retain three years of eligibility.
“Honestly, I don’t know yet if he has to go through the acclimation period again since he switched universities,” Briles said. “He actually went through it at Oregon, where you have to be out of pads two days. We’ll let him bounce around a little bit. But he’s a guy that may not even be eligible this year. We’ll probably get him some looks against our defense some and scout team and go from there. We got people carrying the football right now for us.”
Seastrunk said he will apply for a hardship citing his grandmother’s health as his reason for transferring. If the NCAA granted a hardship, it would allow him to be eligible immediately and retain four years of eligibility.
“I hope I get my waiver,” Seastrunk said. “It’s really because of my family … It was really hard to focus in Oregon thinking about them and wishing I could see them.”
Lache is one of three players to transfer to the Baylor football team this fall. Demetri Goodson, former starting point guard from Gonzaga, enrolled for the fall semester and will play defensive back for the Bears.
The Spring native is allowed to play immediately because Gonzaga does not offer football. Goodson has not played football since starting at cornerback for Klein Collins High School, where he earned All-District honors. Goodson enrolled as a junior and will have two years of football eligibility.
The Bears also added linebacker Cordarius Golston from Kilgore College. Golston, a sophomore from Lancaster, transferred to Kilgore College from Arizona, where he was redshirted his first and only year. At Kilgore College he totaled 50 tackles, three for loss, 2.5 sacks, two blocked punts and one forced fumble.
The Bears have five transfers on the roster. Sophomore Jordan Najvar transferred from Stanford prior to last season and was forced to sit out due to NCAA rules. He practiced with the team and returns this year looking to start at tight end.
Senior Terrance Ganaway played at the University of Houston his freshman year under Briles, and then sat out a year at Texarkana College before transferring to Baylor as a sophomore. Ganaway is the Bears starting running back this year.