ShareThis Page

Big 12 preview: Baylor buys RB Seastrunk's Heisman hype

| Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013, 11:24 p.m.

Before the 2012 season was over, Lache Seastrunk declared he would win the Heisman Trophy this fall.

Given the second half of the Baylor running back's season, Bears coach Art Briles has no desire to downplay Seastrunk's hype.

“I'd much rather have players wanting to win the Heisman,” Briles said, “than clap for the one that does.”

After rushing for 831 yards and six touchdowns in the last six games, the 5-foot-10, 210-pound Seastrunk hopes to follow a fantastic finish with a spectacular start.

“Definitely. That's why I said it,” said Seastrunk, whose first name is pronounced “Lake,” of his December pronouncement to Sporting News. “Right before I said it, I thought about it and said, ‘Why not?' Coach Briles tells us to be the best players in the country. That's a goal that I want to achieve.”

It's a goal that appeared attainable when he was an All-American at Temple (Texas) High and five-star recruit at Oregon who runs the 40-yard dash in 4.34 seconds and has a vertical jump of 44 inches.

But Seastrunk fell out of favor and redshirted as a freshman, then transferred amid a scandal involving Willie Lyles, who received $25,000 for delivering Oregon outdated recruiting profiles.

After sitting out the 2011 season, Briles brought Seastrunk along slowly last year. He had 95 yards in the first five games, then averaged 138.5 yards over the final six while playing with the punishing Glasco Martin.

That included scoring three touchdowns in a victory over No. 14 Oklahoma, running for a season-high 185 yards in the upset of top-ranked Kansas State, a 76-yard fourth-quarter touchdown despite a tweaked leg muscle to clinch a victory over No. 24 Oklahoma State, and 138 yards against No. 17 UCLA to win MVP honors at the Holiday Bowl.

“He's a great player, an explosive, powerful player,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. “That's all you can say.”

It's no wonder Big 12 coaches aren't dismissing Seastrunk's Heisman candidacy, especially after former Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III won it in 2011.

“In this league, you're used to seeing so much offensive talent at all the skill positions. That program has had a Heisman Trophy winner,” Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said, adding that Seastrunk is “everything that he's advertised to be.”

Briles believes if Seastrunk started at zero last season in terms of comprehending Baylor's scheme, he's now an eight on a scale of 1 to 10. Combine that Seastrunk's confidence, and he promises to be dangerous.

“Coach Briles lets me be myself,” Seastrunk said. “He says, ‘Do what you do on the field. We don't want to make you not who you are.' He sees the swagger that I have.”

It's a swagger that Briles has instilled at Baylor. He knows from Griffin's experience that the better Seastrunk plays in big games, the better Baylor will be — which increases his Heisman hopes.

“Honestly, Robert helped himself win the Heisman,” Briles said. “You have to do phenomenal things in phenomenal moments, and that's what he did. The timing was perfect. ...

“Lache has some qualities that give him an opportunity. He's a dynamic football player that's very engaging, and those are good qualities to have. They help you with the voters.”

Kevin Gorman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.