By Parmida Schahhosseini
Three players, three paths, one mission. That’s how junior running back Lache Seastrunk, senior tight end Jordan Najvar and senior cornerback Demetri Goodson look at it.
Seastrunk, Najvar and Goodson play in different positions, but their common denominator is that they are native Texans who decided to go to West Coast schools and ended up transferring to Baylor so they could be back in Texas.
Each player had a unique journey at different times that led to a period of personal growth, but the trio is ready to leave the past behind and create a new legacy.
“It was a long process, but now I’m here,” Seastrunk said. “I enjoyed my humbling process and here I am now.”
With the past behind him, Seastrunk is only looking toward the future. Coming off a breakout season in 2012, the running back has received so much hype nationally that the Heisman speculation is buzzing around Baylor again.
Seastrunk has given the offense a spark, as he cuts through defenders making difficult runs look easy. Against University of Louisiana-Monroe, the running back rushed for 156 yards on 10 carries, but it’s also the yards after contact that make him stand out. During the same game, Seastrunk broke away for a 75-yard touchdown run. Seastrunk continues to put up impressive numbers this season as he rushed for 417 yards in three games for an average of 139 yards a game. The running back averages 11 yards per carry. Football isn’t the only thing on the running back’s mind. When asked about his expectations for Baylor, he was loud and clear.
“To get my college degree first and foremost,” Seastrunk said. “In football whatever it may be, to help my team win games.”
While questions of his past continue to linger, he won’t let it haunt him. With the future in his hands, Seastrunk strives to move on one play at a time.
While the tight end might not generate as much hype as Seastrunk, Najvar has been an integral part of the Baylor offense.
With his blocking and catching ability, he’s one of the offense’s unsung heroes.
Najvar is a senior on the field, but a graduate student in the classroom. He graduated in May 2013 with a degree in distribution management technology and went to Stanford his freshman year before coming to Baylor.
While Najvar enjoyed his experiences, he realized Stanford just wasn’t the place for him.
“I really wasn’t ready for what was out there, so far out in a different place and isolated with no family,“ Najvar said. “It was a good learning experience, but at the same time I’m glad to be back here.”
Najvar’s impact on the program could be felt as he led Baylor tight ends as a sophomore with 15 receptions for 146 yards and two touchdowns, one of which came in an upset over No. 14 TCU. In 2012, he had three touchdowns, including a rushing touchdown.
Najvar came to Baylor before the rise of Baylor began, but he had a feeling that it was going to be an up-and-coming team after meeting the coaching staff.
“It happened with Coach [Art]Briles and what he represented, “ Najvar said. “I was anxious to be a part of that and ever since then I’ve been pleased with how it all worked out.”
With the offensive genius of Briles, Najvar is happy with his decision to transfer and play in this system. Expectations are high this season with goals of winning the Big 12.
“It’s been great with how the speed and talent Coach Briles has got here, how guys have developed and there’s people buying in. “ Najvar said. “I’m excited. I’m especially excited to end with a good note with the talent we have and to see the tradition continue.”
As the only current player to transfer from a West Coast Conference school, Goodson had to make the biggest transition after playing basketball for three seasons. Goodson was the starting point guard at Gonzaga during its 68-64 upset over then-No. 9 Baylor.
“The first year it was tough going from basketball back to football,“ Goodson said. “Now I’ve been playing for years and the great coaching I’ve had. This is my third year here, so I’m back to my football days.”
Injuries have dampened both of Goodson’s seasons, but he has shown promise. Before an injury in 2012, Goodson had 16 tackles and an interception in four games.
With the injuries behind him, Goodson hopes to have a strong season. While he enjoyed his time at Gonzaga, Baylor is home.
“This is all family right here,” “The guys are great, the coaches are great and that combines for a great season.”
All three players have had different journeys, but each of them will help Baylor strive toward a Big 12 title and beyond.