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Oklahoma State football: Cowboys have to keep an eye on Lache Seastrunk

Running back's strange journey led him from Texas to Oregon and now back to Waco, where's he's been a key cog for a resurgent Baylor team.
by John Helsley Published: November 27, 2012

Bill Young considered the task of accounting for Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk, then paused a moment for a refresher on the phenom, who's sudden emergence has added a new element of danger to the Bears' offense.

Indeed, introductions are in order with Seastrunk.

Or, if the name rings a bell — and it could — reintroduction, perhaps.

One of the nation's big three running back recruits in the class of 2010, Seastrunk originally signed with Oregon and spent a year in Eugene, before returning closer to his home of Temple, Texas, lugging much NCAA-related baggage in tow.

After a quiet restart to his career, Seastrunk's stock is soaring again in Waco, where his speed and breakaway skills out of the backfield have only enhanced Baylor's already dangerous attack.

“He's just such an elusive guy,” Young said. “He's got great acceleration and can change directions in a heartbeat. He's the best back we'll have faced. We haven't faced a great back. He's it.”

So, for that reintroduction …

It's complicated.

After setting Temple High records of 4,217 rushing yards and 52 touchdowns, Seastrunk stood as one of the nation's elite prospects. Tom Lemming of rated him as the nation's No. 2 recruit overall, and The Sporting News ranked Seastrunk at No. 4. Also a track star, Seastrunk clocked a 10.33 in the 100 meters and leaped 21-8 in the long jump during his prep career.

Coveted by schools coast to coast and in his own backyard, including Baylor and Texas, Seastrunk's recruitment eventually drew scrutiny by the NCAA, due to his linking with Houston area scouting service operator Will Lyles.

An NCAA investigation is ongoing into a $25,000 payment made by Oregon to Lyles, who told Yahoo! Sports in 2011 that “I look back at it now and they paid for what they saw as my access and influence with recruits.”

Lyles, who has been portrayed as a mentor to Seastrunk, is also at the heart of trouble at Tennessee, where the Vols recently had two years of probation added to already existing sanctions, due to former assistant coach Willie Mack Garza's reimbursement to Lyles for plane tickets and hotel expenses associated with an unofficial visit made by Seastrunk and his mother in the summer of 2009.

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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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