Lache Seastrunk has spent months whittling down his list of schools under consideration. As perhaps the top running back in the 2010 class, the 5-11 190 pound back from Temple, Texas has had his choices laid out for him for quite a while. All of the biggest schools want him to anchor their recruiting class: Florida, Miami, Nebraska, Texas, Oklahoma, and the list goes on. Seastrunk narrowed his list recently. He is now down to LSU, Auburn, USC, Oregon and Memphis.
Stop. LSU, Auburn, USC, Oregon… and Memphis? You read it correctly.
For those who haven’t followed college football closely, especially for those that don’t follow coaching changes closely, there’s been a development in Conference USA. Larry Porter left LSU about six weeks ago and came home to become head coach at Memphis. For the average college football fan, that doesn’t seem like anything important, at least from a national perspective. Looking deeper, you’ll see that Porter was a running back at Memphis from 1990 to 1993. It’s a homecoming for him. For the University of Memphis football program, it’s all a start of something bigger. Years ago, Porter left the safety of home in order to become a better football coach. He coached under Les Miles at Oklahoma State. He moved on to LSU and continued to grow under Coach Miles. At LSU, he added chief recruiter to his duties as running backs coach and was awarded National Recruiter of the Year honors in 2007 and 2009.
It’s one thing to recruit successfully at a BCS school, but how will Porter elevate Memphis? Only two words are needed for illustration. Lache. Seastrunk. Yes, that name has the potential to change the fortunes of a program. Perhaps that change is already occuring. Porter was the coach that recruited Seastrunk to LSU. They have a relationship. Now Seastrunk has narrowed his list. Florida, Miami, UNC, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and others have come off. Memphis has come on. It’s better to come on late than never.
For Memphis, it would be far better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
His consideration of Memphis doesn’t mean that Seastrunk is a Memphis lock. Not by any stretch of the imagination. The relationship is there however and the relationship is no longer as strong at LSU. Pete Carroll is likely to be gone from USC. That potentially strikes two schools from his list. Would it be farfetched to think that Seastrunk’s recruitment is coming down to Auburn, Oregon and Memphis?
Even if Seastrunk doesn’t veer off of the BCS course and commit to Memphis, the benefit of such notoriety may have already been gained by the Tigers. Consideration from a top back like Seastrunk goes a long way toward validating the school and validating the efforts of a coach like Larry Porter. If Seastrunk were to commit to Memphis, that would tip the balance for Memphis’ recruiting. Porter is already in hot pursuit of a number of blue chip recruits that were unobtainable for the previous coaching staff. Memphis University School Quarterback Barry Brunetti is one of the top class of 2010 QBs in the nation, yet he barely considered playing for the home school and instead committed to West Virginia months ago. Brunetti has already been approached by Coach Porter and has been asked to reconsider. Getting a running back of the quality of Seastrunk would make it more difficult for Brunetti to say no to the Tigers. Memphis already has four-star rated wide receiver Sean Farr committed for the 2010 class. Adding Seastrunk as another scoring threat would have to make Brunetti think again. Any combination of those three players when added to the current team would give Memphis the potential to leap ahead in Conference USA.
Schools like Memphis need breaks in order to close the gap between themselves and the BCS schools. A little uncertainty with other programs and some tenacious recruiting by Coach Larry Porter may be just what the doctor ordered for Memphis Tiger Football.
Memphis Roar’s report on Seastrunk from the Army All-American game practice:
RUNNING BACK: In scrimmage work today, there wasn’t a lot of live tackling, so it was hard for the running backs to stand out. Lache Seastrunk (Temple, TX Temple) stood out as the best all-around athlete at the position based on his work in the scrimmage, and the fact he appeared the fastest 40-yard dash of the day when the players ran an informal set of sprints during the skills challenge.
*Andy Hilton primarily contributes to Recruit757.com. Read more from Andy here.