“Big 12 championship, national title, Heisman Trophy winner. Why not?”
That’s what Baylor Bears running back Lache Seastrunk said to reporters at Big 12 media days back in early August, when the Bears were just voted as the fifth-best team in the Big 12 preseason poll.
Now heading into Saturday’s matchup with the K-State Wildcats, the Bears are a perfect 4-0 and one of just three remaining undefeated teams in the Big 12. Seastrunk is a big reason behind his team’s success.
The Bears boast one of the nation’s most prolific offenses, ranking first in total offense by over 100 yards, second in rushing and first in scoring.
Seastrunk himself ranks second in the country in rushing yards per game at 147.3, trailing only Andre Williams of Boston College. Keep in mind, Seastrunk is usually removed from games before the fourth quarter since Baylor has blown out every opponent they’ve played.
Here’s the thing though: Seastrunk knew that he, and the rest of his team, were capable of all this long before anybody else.
In December 2012, Seastrunk told Steve Greenberg of Sporting News that he believed he was capable of winning the Heisman Trophy this season.
“I feel like there’s no back who can do what I do,” Seastrunk told Sporting News. “I know I’m the fastest back in the country. I know I’m the best back in the country. Nobody’s going to work harder. I’m going to win the Heisman. I’m going to win it in 2013. If I don’t, I’m going to get very close.”
Then at Big 12 media days, many reporters asked whether Seastrunk wanted to recant his statement.
But instead, he doubled down on his lofty predictions.
“Why should I regret it? I said it. You want me to take it back? People are going to be negative, they’re always going to have their negative comments,” Seastrunk said. “If I believe in my heart, it can happen.”
While many perceive Seastrunk’s words as cocky or out of line, the running back’s head coach is actually one of his biggest supporters.
“He’s always that way. Everybody thinks that he’s just this guy with the big bold predictions,” Art Briles said. “But if you’re a pretty premier, elite athlete and I ask you if you think you’re good enough to win the Heisman, I would want you to say ‘yes sir’.”
While Seastrunk is certainly one to boost himself and his credentials as an elite running back, he never does it without crediting his offensive line.
“If you watched the West Virginia game you saw [the offensive line] pushing bodies out of the way for me to do what I do,” Seastrunk said. “In order for me to do well I have to thank the guys up front. They’ve been really good.”
As the Bears put their 4-0 record to the test against the Wildcats, Seastrunk knows that playing in Bill Snyder Family Stadium for the first time in his career will be a unique experience, and one that he has to stay focused for.
“We will have to be more focused this week than we have ever been. We have to keep pushing forward,” Seastrunk said.
As for Seastrunk’s predictions, they may very well come true. The Bears look like a team that could run the table in the Big 12 and finish the season undefeated, which would surely put them in the hunt for the BCS National Championship game.
And Seastrunk is one of the premier players in the country and is proving himself worthy of Heisman Trophy consideration.
If you ask Briles, that’s exactly where he wants his team and Seastrunk to be.
“He made one statement that I’m proud of,” Briles said. “I don’t want our guys thinking they’re not great. We want them to be great.”