“I’m going to win the Heisman. I’m going to win it in 2013.”
These were the exact words spoken to the Sporting News by Baylor Bears running back Lache Seastrunk all the way back in late December of last year. Now, the time is near for the former Oregon transfer to put up or shut up.
You can look at those comments as either exuding cockiness or extreme confidence. Whatever way we choose to view them, Seastrunk’s 2012 performance certainly made the idea of him giving Baylor their second Heisman winner in three years is a distinct possibility.
With the departure of the most famous player in Baylor history in Robert Griffin III, no one really knew what to expect last year from Art Briles and his squad. But as we would come to find out, the drop-off would be minimal. Behind Seastrunk and Griffin’s outstanding replacement at QB, Nick Florence, the Bears hustled their way to an 8-5 record culminating in a 49-26 drubbing of UCLA in the Holiday Bowl.
But the team’s, and Seastrunk’s, crowning achievement of last season was the 52-24 annihilation they orchestrated against the then #2 team in the nation the Kansas State Wildcats as we all stared on in shock and amazement. In this particular contest, Seastrunk bulldozed his way to 185 yards on 19 carries. The sophomore finished with one TD, but it was a big one. Late in the third quarter, with the game already out of reach seemingly at 45-24, Seastrunk took off for an 80-yard score right through the middle, while at the same time displaying his incredible breakaway speed once he gets loose in the secondary.
Overall last year, Seastrunk finished the year with 1,012 yards and seven touchdowns. He, along with fellow running back Glasco Martin, was able to contribute to balancing the Baylor offensive attack with Florence’s outstanding passing ability.
So can he contribute a lot more in 2013 and make his way toward that Heisman Trophy?
My answer to that, quite frankly, is no.
However that’s not to say that he can’t have another season over 1,000 yards on the ground. If anything hurts his Heisman chances, it will be the touchdowns. I mentioned Glasco Martin earlier, and he’s a big reason for this. Martin is the bruising, short-yardage back that can take away from Seastrunk’s overall production. Last season, Martin finished with over twice as many touchdowns as Seastrunk did with 16 and that shouldn’t change this season. While impressive, the Baylor back won’t always break off 80-yard scores like he did against KSU.
Now what does help his chances for greater success this season is Baylor losing two out of their top three wideouts. If Briles can’t get the passing game off and running early on for whatever reason, Seastrunk will be called upon to carry the brunt of that load.
A lot of people learned who Seastrunk was last year by taking in that run on national television against Kansas State. There’s a lot of eyes on this young man this year to most likely produce somewhere in the area of 1,200 yards rushing or more. Baylor also does loss three offensive linemen, although two of the replacements are experienced seniors that are familiar with everything which shouldn’t make that transition that much of an issue.
The pieces are definitely in place for Lache Seastrunk to land himself a spot in New York with the Heisman candidates come December. While I don’t think he’ll take the trophy home, he’ll certainly make sure in 2013 that he can do all he needs to do to get there.
He better, he guaranteed it.
Jack is a College Football Writer for Rant Sports. Follow Jack on Twitter @JackJ14RS