After months and months of anticipation, on Jan. 27, highly-touted running back recruit Lache Seastrunk from Temple High School in Texas has committed to the Oregon Ducks.
Seastrunk is a four-star recruit, according to ESPN.com, and a five-star recruit according to Scout.com and Rivals.com. According to Scout.com's rankings, Seastrunk will be the fifth five-star recruit out of high school since they began their rating system in 2002.
The others are defensive tackle and NFL Pro Bowler Haloti Ngata, wide receiver Cameron Colvin, running back Jonathan Stewart, and defensive end/tight end 2010 recruit Curtis White. The expectations will be high.
At the beginning of the year, Seastrunk was a heavy lean towards USC, but after opening up his recruiting, Seastrunk moved further and further away from ever playing in a Trojan uniform.
Lache even joked with John Hunt of The Oregonian the morning of his verbal commit to Oregon saying, "I'm going to USC, I've got a USC hat on, and even some USC socks.'' Seastrunk added a few seconds later saying, "I'm just messin' with you, man'' and adding to the anticipation.
The Ducks beat out LSU, Auburn, Memphis, and Baylor for Seastrunk, adding an extremely high-skilled running back to a group full of promise with LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner already making a name at Oregon, along with another 2010 commit out of Texas, Dontae Williams.
The big sellers on his trip to Oregon were the facilities at Oregon (of course) and the overall environment in Eugene. Chip Kelly's character and his staff were a big influence on Seastrunk's decision.
Lache said he finally came to his decision at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl about two weeks ago when a letter arrived from Kelly in his hotel room just with a basic thoughtful "hello."
"He's the greatest person,’’ Seastrunk said. “He’s going to be a great father figure to me for the next couple of years, to mold me into the man I need to be to take care of my family one day.’’
Seastrunk fits perfectly into Chip Kelly's fast-paced Oregon offense. Expect Lache to be involved in the system as a freshman, as he is too talented at 5'10", 185 pounds with a 4.4 40 time to sit on the bench.
Here is Scout.com's player evaluation on Seastrunk:
Speed and moves and acceleration are what make Lache a truly special player. He does a great job of finding the opening then bursting through the seam and finishing the play. His ability to accelerate so that the defensive player's angle of pursuit is off is truly one of his strengths. In full stride he is hitting three yards a stride and chews up the yardage.
A pairing of LaMichael James and Lache Seastrunk is going to lower a lot of Pac-10 defense's tackle ratings and could cause nightmares for defensive coordinators. Although, the highlights are going to be a lot of fun to watch.
The explosiveness of Kenjon Barner along with the power of Dontae Williams is something to look forward to in the backfield for Duck fans. Keanan Lowe, a speedy in-state 2010 recruit could also get a few carries. Oregon's 236.1 rushing yards per game average has a high possibility of increasing.
Chip Kelly is probably salivating as I type this article. The possibilities with this kind of talent is talent at running back in Kelly's spread offense is endless.
This may not be the last highly-touted recruit the Ducks nab, as multiple top recruits have Oregon in their considerations. Signing day on Feb. 3 could bring more excitement for Duck fans.
Could this be the start of an era in Eugene? Chip Kelly's list of recruits so far as head coach of Oregon have been impressive. Only time will tell.
*Note: Even though Seastrunk committed to Oregon, nothing is official until signing day on Feb. 3.