After becoming the first player in Baylor history with two 1,000-yard rushing seasons, junior running back Lache Seastrunk will forgo his senior year to declare for the NFL draft.
Seastrunk rushed for 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns as a junior for Baylor’s Big 12 championship team this season after rushing for 1,012 yards and seven scores last year. Seastrunk is projected to be a second-round pick in the NFL draft in May.
“We wish Lache nothing but the best,” Baylor coach Art Briles said. “He told me his plans are to come back and eventually get his degree from Baylor, and that’s what makes us proud. I appreciate the dedication and energy that Lache brought to this football team. He would do anything that he was asked to do both on and off the field, and that translated to him being the first two-time 1,000-yard rusher at Baylor.”
NFLDraftScout.com projects the 5-9, 210-pound Seastrunk to be the fourth running back taken in the NFL draft behind Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey, Auburn’s Tre Mason and Washington’s Bishop Sankey.
Seastrunk couldn’t be reached for comment Monday afternoon but issued a prepared statement to Yahoo Sports earlier in the day.
“Playing in the NFL has been a lifelong dream of mine, and I’m fully prepared to take the next step toward realizing that goal,” Seastrunk said. “I’m excited for the opportunity to compete in the NFL draft process. I look forward to giving teams every ounce of energy I’ve got and proving to them that I’m a good person, a relentless competitor, and a great player, too.”
A blue chip recruit out of Temple, Seastrunk signed with Oregon and redshirted in 2010. Positioned deep on the Ducks’ depth chart, Seastrunk decided to transfer closer to home to Baylor in August 2011.
After sitting out at Baylor in 2011 due to NCAA transfer rules, Seastrunk played sparingly at the start of the 2012 season. But he made a big impact in the second half of the season as he rushed for 831 yards in the last six games.
Seastrunk got off to a blazing start in the first seven games this year before suffering a groin injury against Oklahoma. He missed Baylor’s games against Texas Tech and Oklahoma State before playing in the final three games. In Baylor’s 52-42 loss to Central Florida in the Fiesta Bowl, Seastrunk rushed for 117 yards.
With Seastrunk and senior Glasco Martin gone, Baylor’s top returning running backs are redshirt freshmen Shock Linwood and Devin Chafin. Linwood rushed for 881 yards and eight touchdowns while Chafin added 295 yards and four touchdowns this season. Johnny Jefferson, a former Killeen Shoemaker star, redshirted this season.