Lache Seastrunk | 5'10, 210 pounds | Running back | Baylor | Junior
2012 Stats: 131 attempts, 1,021 yards, 7 touchdowns
For a while, Lache Seastrunk was a forgotten man. A five-star recruit out of high school at rated as the No. 3 running back in the country, Seastrunk spent time buried on Oregon's depth chart behind LeMichael James, Kenjon Barner, De'Anthony Thomas and Tre Carson.
That prompted the prized recruit to transfer closer to his home in Texas and play for the Baylor Bears. While he has flashed the ability that made him a five-star player, Baylor is still waiting for him to truly burst onto the scene.
Considering Seastrunk finished 2012 with four straight games of 130 rushing yards or more, a dominant season could be on the horizon.
What he does well
Seastrunk benefits from a low center of gravity due to his height. Some of the most talented running backs in the NFL are vertically challenged, which helps them maintain balance in their cuts. Seastrunk fits that mold as an explosive back that can cut on a dime.
At the line of scrimmage, Seastrunk displays the ability to react quickly when a hole opens up. He anticipates running lanes well and has the lateral agility to be a strong cut-back runner. Seastrunk has plenty of speed to reach the corner and run away from defenders, which he did frequently at the end of 2012.
One of Seastrunk's redeeming qualities is his refusal to be brought down. He's constantly churning his legs and fighting for extra yards deep into games. He's a tough back, which was made perfectly clear against Oklahoma State when he ran for a touchdown despite tweaking his hamstring.
When asked to stay home and pass protect, Seastrunk held his own. He's able to cut block effectively and can chip bigger pass rushers off their angles. When isolated with UCLA's Anthony Barr in Baylor's bowl game, Seastrunk effectively knocked the speedy pass rusher off course.
Leaving Oregon clearly fueled Seastrunk. According to Bruce Feldman, Seastrunk was running a 4.63 40-yard dash time while with the Ducks and had a vertical of 34.5 inches. This offseason, Seastrunk was timed at 4.36 second and notched a 44.2-inch vertical jump. He's also put on 15 pounds since arriving at Baylor and has continued to get more explosive.
What he needs to improve on
Seastrunk is obviously a speedy back. But he needs to develop more of a north/south running style. He tries to break a big play too often and ends up losing yardage. His first instinct appears to be to bounce the ball to the outside and try and beat the defense to the corner. Despite his stocky build, Seastrunk's game isn't predicated on power, though it could be if he added a bit more weight.
With only nine catches last season, Seastrunk isn't much of a factor in the passing game. He lacks concentration at times and doesn't have the best hands as a receiver out of the backfield.
Seastrunk was arguably the hottest running back in college football during the second half of the season. Considering the work he's put in this offseason, he could be even better in 2013. In April, for the first time in a long time, a running back was not drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft. Some wonder whether a running back will emerge from the 2014 class to put the position group back in the first round. Seastrunk could be that guy, but he needs to become a more well-rounded player in the backfield.