Lache Seastrunk has broken off several huge runs this Spring.
Lache Seastrunk was constantly noted as struggling during practices last season. The former blue chip recruit had been somewhat of a disappointment after many people thought he could see playing time as a true freshman. Seastrunk’s problems in the running game seemed to come from his hesitancy and attempts to dance around the defense. When he wasn’t dancing around in the backfield, Seastrunk would always try to get outside, to the point that it was very predictable. This worked well enough for him in high school, but when going up against Oregon’s first string defense, it wasn’t good enough. This led to few quality runs for Seastrunk, and most people thinking more highly of fellow true freshman running back, Dontae Williams.
Fast forward to Spring camp and Seastrunk is in a completely different situation. After the graduation of Remene Alston and the departure of Dontae Williams, Lache Seastrunk finds himself all alone in the 3rd spot on the depth chart, behind LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner. Seastrunk has also been playing much better on the field this spring. He has gone from looking very hesitant and ineffective, to looking downright explosive out of the backfield.
Seastrunk now takes hand-offs and explodes to the holes. He also seems to have no fear when running inside, and has taken a few runs up the middle for scores. One of his biggest areas of improvement may be his ability to often pick up around 5 yards when pushing and diving his way right up the middle with nowhere to run. The most noticeable difference this spring has been Seastrunk’s ability to get into open field, where he can truly showcase his outstanding speed and quickness. Once he hits the second level you can sense the urgency in the defense to try to wrap him up before he can find, or create, even more open space.
When he gets into open space, Seastrunk has often turned it into huge gains. In some practices, he has been able to break off big run after big run, including multiple touchdowns. When Seastrunk scores a TD in practice he also takes it all the way into the endzone, opposed to stopping short once there is nobody in front of him, which most players typically do. This extra bit of effort seems to suggest that Seastrunk is really trying to finish every run in the endzone.
Despite being one of the most improved players on the team, Seastrunk still has his weaknesses. Kickoff and punt returns are still an issue for him, as he continues to have periods where he just can’t seem to bring them in. This obviously frustrates him, and the anguish with every drop is obvious. Seastrunk has also sometimes been in the doghouse a little with Chip Kelly, as he gets more one on one time with Kelly than any other player. However, Kelly obviously wouldn’t invest the time into Seastrunk if he didn’t have huge hopes for his potential. Seastrunk will have to continue the hard work in order to become the player that Kelly and all Oregon fans thought he could be.