Sunday, August 21, 2011

Lache Seastrunk Speaks About Transfer

Lache Seastrunk in Oregon
Yesterday, Duck fans learned that Lache Seastrunk would be transferring from the University of Oregon with a likely destination of Baylor University.

We have already seen many articles detailing his departure. Some critical of his time at Oregon; some critical of Duck fans and their reaction to the news.

Once again, as has often been the case in Lache's short stint at Oregon, everyone seems to be missing the point here. This young man made a very difficult decision. This was not a rash decision made in the heat of the moment. And, contrary to popular opinion, the decision had nothing to do with football and everything to do with the one, most important aspect of Lache Seastrunk's life: Family. Before we all begin to question whether he would or would not have seen any significant action; before we begin to analyze his worth to the team, we should step back and analyze his worth as a human being. After all, isn't that what we should be teaching all the young men that play college football; how to be the best person they can be? That certainly should be our goal.

So we need to look at the truth behind the decision to transfer. All too often, college football fans, in their fervent support of their team focus only on the athletic aspect in these decisions. Often, that just is not the case. Sure, young men that get athletic scholarships wish to compete. However, we must remember that these are still very young men; and they struggle with many of the same things we all struggled with at their age.

Lache Surrounded by Family, January 2010
The future is the focus here, and the future for Lache Seastrunk is still incredibly bright. But let's look, for a moment, at the transfer. As people around “twitterverse” and Blogosphere debate as if they know the reasons for the transfer, the truth is simpler than many presume.

We can have a great mind and do what others might consider impressive, but without the underlying form of our consciousness; character; we cannot fully achieve the greatness possible within ourselves. It is not the adversity that defines a man's character, but his response to adversity. Through all of the adversity that Lache Seastrunk has faced, he has always worked hard and moved forward. We see a fluid young man in game films; on the football field and we think everything must have come easy. That could not be further from the truth. Lache Seastrunk, despite the natural athletic gifts we all see, sacrificed and worked extremely hard. He gave his heart and soul to everything he did, including his school work. And this is the sign of his incredible character, his work and devotion to God and his family.

Lache with Aunt Jen, July 2011
The best book I read as a child was the story of Gayle Sayers' life “I Am Third.” In that book, we learned that Sayers motto was simple “God is first, Family is second and I am third.” Without quoting this slogan, Lache Seastrunk lives it every day. Lache Seastrunk's devotion to his faith is clear from his interview with Jason Vondersmith of the Portland Tribune where he says “I really read my Bible,” he says. “I read during my off time. I have ‘A Man of Integrity’ and ‘How to Study Your Bible’ in my backpack right now as we speak.”

Seastrunk's interpretation of “A Man of Integrity” follows: “It’s basically, when things all fall down, you’ve got to keep pushing, no matter what,” he says. “No matter how difficult the pain may be, how bad you might feel, or how devastated you might be, you still have to keep pushing no matter what. You still have to keep moving. Because in the worst times, when you praise God, it’s when God sees that you’re really committed to him.”

This transfer, though, finds him living the second part more than any of us really know. As one family member told me today, Lache's grandmother “is not doing well at all. Lache needs to be close to family. It was a long, hard decision for him. But, he made it, on his own. There is nothing in this world more important than family and I am very proud of him. He has plenty of time to shine.” This is not, however, Annie Harris, the grandmother that Lache affectionately refers to as
Lache visiting his Aunt in July 2011
'Nana.' It is another grandmother.

And that speaks volumes for Lache's decision. This was not about football; nor should it have been. All along, Lache was following what he felt to be God's plan for him. That plan led Lache to Oregon, and it tested his faith; tested his strength. Through it all, Lache Seasstrunk stayed strong and worked hard at what he does; football and school. Nonetheless, when family calls, family comes second only to God. Family comes before self. Lache made that choice. It was difficult and heart-wrenching. But, like many times in his life, he made a tough decision. And he made it for the right reasons.

In the end, the world will not judge Lache Seastrunk by what he does on the football field; the world will judge him by how good a student, husband, and father he turns out to be. This is what Scott and Deanna Carter judge him by; this is how his family will judge him; and this is how God will judge him. Along the way, Lache will play football; he will continue his quest to attain a college degree. Lache Seastrunk will continue to grow into the man his family dreams he can become.He is a lot closer than many know or understand.

I was able to spend some time interviewing Lache for this article today. The first thing I will say is that Lache Seastrunk is going to make a fine addition to the university he chooses. I asked him if Baylor was indeed where he was transferring. “It's hard to know right now. It's been kind of crazy since I got my release. I'm not really sure where I'm going. It's been like I am on the market again. Just like recruiting back in high school.”

Baylor Coach Art Briles
Lache went on to tell me “I love (Baylor) Coach Briles, I've got a couple of (high school) teammates there. I think that it will be a good fit for me.” Tevin Reese, a sophomore inside receiver and Chris Winkler, a Sophomore placekicker are both from Temple High School and current members of the Baylor University football team.

Amidst all the speculation over the past several months, Lache has maintained his family before self attitude. “The toughest part,” Lache went on, “is leaving all of the friends I made here. I made a lot of good friends. Guys like my friends Jimmy and Eric and Derrick who were there for me any time I needed them. We are hanging out right now. In fact, we were already planning on going to Vegas for Spring Break and I'm still going to go with them.”

As many fans may have noticed, Lache is not a big “Facebook” or “Twitter” guy, he feels there is too much dirty laundry that goes back and forth and prefers to stick with other methods of keeping in touch with his friends. “I get to see their face when I Skype, that means a lot. I would rather do that than Facebook or twitter, those seem immature.”

We talked about the reason for his transfer and it still all boils down to one thing: Family.

Lache and the boys
“I just want everyone to know that I live by God. He is the Head of my household. I listen to what He tells me and I do what He says. I love Oregon and I love all my friends. The hardest thing I have to do is look at my friends like Allie and see her face when I told her I was leaving. That's the hardest part. I don't like to see people cry. But, as much as I loved my time at Oregon, my family needs me, and I have to be there for them.”

While Laches maternal grandmother is ill, his 'Nana' is doing well physically, but, due to reasons of her own, also needs her family close. Lache was really concerned about ensuring that his family stay strong through this emotional time.

Lache has no regrets about his decision to attend Oregon. He has no regrets about his relationships. While many will still presume the worst, he told me that Will Lyles was more like a fatherly influence in his life “My family didn't know much about the football part,” Lache continues, “Will helped me with understanding that part; who was going where, who needed what. He never told me where to go, he just helped me understand how to make the decision. When I talked to my dad about coming to Oregon, he said it was the right decision. It was part of God's plan. I still talk to Will.”

Lache with Deanna & Scott Carter
As we watch a Duck player move on to another phase of his life, let us all take a moment to remember what an incredible spirit this young man provides to his family and friends. After all, we are merely football fans, they are his family; his support system. We as fans will cheer on Saturdays, deep down, though, some of those cheers will echo for Lache Seastrunk. His worth to Oregon has never been about football. His worth will not be measured as an athlete, but as a human being. By all accounts, Lache is a damn fine human being; someone we should all emulate. We wish Lache Seastrunk and his family health and happiness. He is an incredible young man who will find success in life. If indeed he ends up in Waco, Baylor University just got a fine young man; and a new fan in myself.

Lache Seastrunk Sidesteps another defender
Time and time again, adversity has challenged Lache Seastrunk. And, time and time again, Lache Seastrunk has remained steadfast in his Faith and perseverance. He has overcome every hurdle placed in his path like the tacklers he nimbly avoided as a superstar All-American at Temple High School.

After every game, there were family and friends close at hand to support his life. It is time now for Lache to support his family.

As he prepares to move, his life will be very hectic. “Coach Briles said we've got to get me understanding the play book real quick so I can be ready.”

Lache will be seeking a hardship transfer that will allow him to play immediately as he is returning to Texas due to the ailing health of his grandmother. “I couldn't even think about going nowhere else. If I go to USC or some other Pac-12 school, I'd have to sit out 2 more years because it's in conference; and I wouldn't be any closer to my grandma. I gotta be there for them, I am the head of the house down there.”

Lache's Cousin greets him after a big play

When asked if he had anything to say to Oregon fans, “I want to thank the fans that support me and understand why I have to leave. This whole thing is bigger than me. I love the coaches, my friends and teammates. I have nothing bad to say about them. I love Oregon and the University of Oregon. It's just that, my one grandma is sick and my Nana went through some tough times and needs me. It's just time for me to go back home.”

Lache Seastrunk is a positive light in this world. There have been so many things presumed by so many people that the truth is simply lost: Lache Seastrunk is a great young man who cares more about his family than anyone else. He lives for God, and God has led him back to take care of his family. He is certainly sad to leave all he has known for a little over a year behind. As he told me, though, “I am glad for my time at Oregon, away from home. It taught me a lot and I needed that time. But now my family needs me and it is time to go back home.”

His family does need him. “They are all very excited I am coming home.”

I have no doubt that he will not let them down.

Lache with Aunt and Cousin


  1. Reply from a Duck: (I encourage ALL Duck fans who would like to wish Lache the luck and fortune he deserves to leave comments right here.)


    Thanks again for the great service you have done for both the University and Lache and his extended family.

    I know you are very busy and I know that Lache is inundated with all sorts of demands on his time and life so I hesitate to make this request but I want him to have a chance to hear all the notes in the band.

    Not all of us come at this game the same. My background has been working with young people, mostly middle school students. I have seen phenomenal
    things happen in many young lives. I love winning but I never forget that it involves more than just what passes on some athletic field.

    I want Lache to know that even if he never plays another down of football, he has achieved something even more important by becoming the type of young
    man he has become. Whatever happens in life, he has established the values that will make the real difference in his and others lives. Among those
    values are loyalty, appreciation, discipline, honesty, and faith. As you have seen, he has a gift for being "easy to love". My wish for him is that wherever he goes in life, he goes with the confidence that such character merits. He does not need to look back with any second guessing.

    Having more than earned his blessings, I hope he will consider making working with young people a permanent part of his life. Even those young people with apparently charmed lives need all the help, love, and
    inspiration they can get. I can promise that the rewards from such work will keep the football recognition and financial rewards in their proper place.

    I don't pay that much attention to other teams than the Ducks, I just don't have time. I can say that I will be paying attention to whatever happens to
    Lache and I wish him the very best. He deserves it.

  2. Thank you for all your hard work you've done while at Oregon.I think I speak for most Duck fans when I say you will be missed,but not forgotten.I can't wait to follow your career no matter where you go.Best of luck Lache!
    p.s,after you rip off a 50 yard t.d,flash us the O ;)

  3. Lache, best of luck to you wherever you go! We just moved away from Texas, but spent the last few years in Austin, so we were following your story very closely (and every time we drove though Temple I would have my kids yell "Go Ducks!" to put out the Duck vibes. I think my kids must be partly responsible for you committing to Oregon in the first place! ;)

    Thanks to Scott, Duck fans have gotten to know more about you and your family, and what a great person you are. My family and I are going to cheer for you on upcoming Saturdays, and hopefully Sundays as well.

    You are now, and always will be, part of the Oregon Duck family, whether you like it or not! You and Nana will be in our prayers.

  4. I will definitely be keeping track of Lache in the future and wish him nothing but the best. Go Lache and Go Ducks!

  5. once a duck, always a duck. Best of luck at baylor Lache, hope you tear it up there like you would have here. Hope the fam situation has a happy ending. Go Ducks, we'll miss you my man

  6. Lache,

    Although I am sad to see you transfer, I applaud your commitment to your family. Like all Duck fans I know, we wish you the best and hope for your long as it's not against us in a bowl game! ;-)

  7. Nice write up. You are a fine example of an Oregon Duck. We would be glad to have you as a Baylor fan. Sic 'em!

  8. Looks like I'll be a Baylor fan for the next few years.

    Thanks, Lache, for being part of the Duck family. I wish you could have stayed until you received an Oregon diploma, but unfortunately, reality calls. Can't fault you for having your priorities straight. Good luck, and as always, Go Ducks!

  9. Lache, good on ya. I hope you will remember Duck fans and people in Oregon as being more like Scott Reed than some of the others.

    Great comments, by the way. You don't need a professional PR guy. You just tell the truth.


  10. While Lache has been here, the more I have read about him, the more I have been impressed by the kind of young man he is. I really wish him the best in his future where ever he ends up. And where ever that ends up being, I will definitely be watching for him on Saturdays because there is no questioning his talent...

    Also, thanks for all the great work you have been doing to get the truth out there Scott. Phony's like Cantzano have know idea what true Ducks fans are saying/thinking about this situation, because Ducks fans are repulsed by him and the lies he spreads...

  11. Lache, you have your priorities in the right order young man! May our God continue to bless you and your family and thank you for being a Duck.

  12. Switch out the yellow for gold, and the color schemes are the same, so cross-fanning is easy. Of course, "color scheme" at Oregon has a meaning all its own.

  13. Good Luck, Lache. We'll be missing you at Oregon, but we know you're going to be successful in football and life. I'll be following your career from here on.

  14. Good luck to you Lache. Selfishly I would of loved you to remain a Duck but I understand your reasoning and will be rooting for you in life's journeys.

    Keep your eye on the Lord and you won't go wrong Lache...:)

    God bless you and your family!

  15. We're rooting for you Lache!

    Good Luck from Oregon!

  16. As we say, Once a Duck.. Always a Duck.

    You will always be one of us Lache. Good luck and Win the Day.

  17. Great Story!

    I'm now even more impressed by you as a person than as a football player. You definately have you're priorities straight and I think you'll be successful in life no matter what your path is.

    As Baylor fans, we are all very glad to have you and I will be sure to keep your family in my prayers.

  18. Good luck Lache. I really wish we had a chance to see you work your magic on the field in Oregon's green and yellow (sometimes black or gray), but of course, family comes first. Once a duck, always a duck. Best of luck wherever your road may lead you.

  19. Lache-
    Duck fans understand why you need to take care of the family and I (along with most other Ducks) will be tuning in to watch you in your career at Baylor if that is where you end up. God bless you and your family and best wishes for future health and happiness. Once a Duck, always a Duck. Good luck to you

  20. Lache,

    I am a duck Alumni in Houston. Would of loved to see you do great things from afar. It's hard to catch a duck game down here. Happy to hear you might be tearing up the field in Waco. I'll be sure to tune in and root for you. Good Luck.

  21. Lache,
    It's nice to see a young man make the right decisions for the right reasons. I can assure you that you will be embraced by the Baylor faithful both on and off the field. Sic'em

  22. Great article. I want to wish Lache the best,after the Arizona game he took extra time to sign autographs and was just such a nice guy. I took my nephew to his first duck game and after words we got to meet Lache and he was kind enough to let me get a pic of him and my nephew together, he was by far the coolest duck we met that day.

    Lache, my nephew has been through a lot in life and you made his day that day, we will be rooting for you where ever you go, wish you were still a Duck, but family is most important, so good luck and thank you for being such a cool dude man.

  23. God speed, young man. All true Duck fans will be rooting for you....I know I'll be watching Baylor while you're there!

  24. its jimmy, eric and garrett*...


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