TEMPLE – Lache Seastrunk is an exception to the rule.

The Temple High running back doesn't look like a duck, quack like a duck and he definitely doesn't run like a duck, but he is a duck ... an Oregon Duck.

The Wildcats' all-time leading rusher made the dramatic announcement Wednesday – a week before National Signing Day – in the Temple High gymnasium.

"I had a lot of No. 1's at first, it just jumped around. But, really, in the end, I found a home," Seastrunk said. "...(Oregon coach Chip Kelly) is the smartest offensive coach you can think of. He knows how to use three or two guys in an offense running back-wise ... I'm just really excited to be a part of the offense. I'm really excited for them giving me the opportunity to play."

After thanking God, his family, his teammates and his teachers, Seastrunk, who ran for 4,217 yards and 52 touchdowns at Temple High, stepped out from behind the scorer's table in the gym and said he was headed to the bathroom. Seconds later, he emerged from the opposite end of the gym wearing an OregonT-shirt and blowing on a duck-billed party horn.

Seastrunk picked Oregon, which lost to Ohio State 26-17 in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, over Southern California, LSU and Memphis. In the end, it came down to Pete Carroll leaving USC to become the Seattle Seahawks head coach.

"I love SC's program because Peter Carroll is a very, very amazing coach. But also at the same time, when I realized what was going on, I couldn't picture myself at SC anymore," Seastrunk said.

"It was a really big disappointment because ... you've got a lot of guys committed to SC and you just up and leave. It doesn't really make a lot of sense to me."

Carroll's departure for the NFL was a large factor for Seastrunk, but so was a vision from his incarcerated father.

Seastrunk said a couple of weeks ago, his father told him of a vision he had had about Seastrunk wearing a white uniform – Seastrunk wore a plain, white sweatshirt over the gray Oregon T-shirt Wednesday.

"I didn't believe him at first, but then I thought about it. The school that was in my top, that had all-white uniform, was Oregon ... Then I got to talking to coach Kelly and you can tell he had a genuine heart. You can tell he was for real what he said. He wasn't trying to sell me a pot of beans ... that's when God just came in just told me, this is it."

Seastrunk emerged on the recruiting scene after his sophomore year when he ran for 1,385 yards and 18 touchdowns – 10 of which went for 45 yards or more. As a junior, he ran for more than 1,500 yards and 14 touchdowns but suffered a setback as a senior. He didn't reach the 1,000-yard mark until a 305-yard, four-touchdown performance against winless Shoemaker in the season finale and he dropped from Rivals.com No. 2 overall national recruit to No. 26.

"(The national attention) didn't really bother me, I just always kept God right in my ear," Seastrunk said. "I talked to him before games, during games, after games. I just kept Him there all the time. He was always there, talking to me. When I was at my lowest, He was right there, picking me up. It wasn't really stressful, either."

Seastrunk also had offers from closer teams such as Texas, LSU and Auburn, but, after time, those schools stopped showing interest.

"When I talked to those schools, they were real cool. I enjoyed them. It was a great opportunity for me, then," Seastrunk said. "As time went on, they started to fall off. They stopped calling me. They stopped doing a lot of other things.

"What put the icing on the cake was when coach Kelly sent me a card to the hotel. You don't have to do that, that's way out of your way ... you don't get that often from a head coach because a head coach is really busy. He took his time to write me a letter and sent it to my hotel during my all-American week. That meant a lot."


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