USC: Lache Seastrunk

Pac-12 results from the NFL combine

February, 24, 2014
Feb 24
Raise your hand if you thought Stanford running back Tyler Gaffney would run a faster 40-yard dash than Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas at the NFL combine.

Put your hand down, liar.

Granted, it was still only by a hundredth of a second -- Gaffney ran 4.49 and Thomas 4.50 -- but, still, Thomas built his reputation on speed, while Gaffney's was more on toughness and vision. It ranked as one of the surprise performances among Pac-12 players over the weekend at the NFL combine.

[+] EnlargeBishop Sankey
AP Photo/Michael ConroyWashington running back Bishop Sankey made a move up draft boards with his performance at the NFL combine.
Sunday proved to be a great day for Washington running back Bishop Sankey, who might have jumped Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey on some draft boards, according to ESPN's John Clayton.

From Clayton's story:
There may not be a running back who could entice a team to use a first-round pick, but the backs who ran Sunday looked great. Bishop Sankey of Washington may have entered the combine as the No. 3 halfback, but his stock probably rose with a 4.49 40 time along with a good show of lifting strength. Tre Mason of Auburn displayed second-round numbers with his 4.5. Both backs might have jumped ahead of Ka'Deem Carey of Arizona, who had a 4.70.

Sankey ranked No. 2 among running backs with 26 reps on the bench press and his 40-time was tied for No. 9.

Another one of the weekend's big winners was Oregon State receiver Brandin Cooks, who turned in the fastest 40 among receivers. His time of 4.33 was second to only to Kent State running back Dri Archer, who ran a 4.26.

Cooks, who set Pac-12 single-season records with 128 catches and 1,730 receiving yards this year, also turned in the fastest time registered in the 60-yard shuttle (10.72) at the combine since at least 2006. During that same time period, he's tied for the fastest time in the 20-yard shuttle (3.81) with Tennessee cornerback Jason Allen from 2006.

Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, the John Mackey Award winner, has a stress fracture in his foot that is expected to need six to eight weeks to recover, according to a report from the Tacoma News Tribune. Due to the injury, Seferian-Jenkins was able to participate only in the bench press. He put up 20 reps, which ranked tied for No. 10 among the 15 tight ends who participated.

See the complete list of Pac-12 invitees.

Here are the Saturday and Sunday results from the Pac-12 players in the 40 and bench press:

Running back

Gaffney, Stanford: 4.49/did not lift
Sankey, Washington: 4.49/26 reps
Thomas, Oregon: 4.50/8 reps
Carey, Arizona: 4.70/19 reps
Silas Redd, USC: 4.70/18 reps
Ryan Hewitt, Stanford (fullback): 4.87/did not lift
Marion Grice, Arizona State: Did not participate
Lache Seastrunk, Baylor (transferred from Oregon): 4.51/15 reps

Wide receiver

Cooks, Oregon State: 4.33/16 reps
Paul Richardson, Colorado: 4.40/did not lift
Shaquelle Evans, UCLA: 4.51/13 reps
Josh Huff, Oregon: 4.51/14 reps
Marqise Lee, USC: 4.52/did not lift

Offensive line

Xavier Su'a-Filo, OG, UCLA: 5.04/25 reps
Cameron Fleming, OT, Stanford: 5.28/26 reps
David Yankey, OG, Stanford: 5.48/22 reps
Marcus Martin, C, USC: did not run/23 reps

Tight end

Colt Lyerla, formerly of Oregon: 4.61/16 reps
Anthony Denham, Utah: 4.77/did not lift
Jake Murphy, Utah: 4.79/24 reps
Richard Rodgers, TE, California: 4.87/16 reps
Seferian-Jenkins, Washington: did not run/20 reps
Xavier Grimble, USC: did not run or lift


No Pac-12 quarterbacks are at the combine, which is a rarity. The conference has sent at least one every year since at least 1999, which was as far back as we could go to find combine rosters.

Kiffin denies knowing of Garza payment

September, 27, 2011
USC coach Lane Kiffin said Tuesday that he did not know anything about former assistant Willie Mack Garza's alleged payment to recruit Lache Seastrunk in 2009 while the two were at the University of Tennessee, as Yahoo! Sports reported Monday night.

Garza, who worked under Kiffin at Tennessee and at USC, resigned earlier this month, citing "personal issues unrelated to USC." In the Yahoo! report, street agent Will Lyles claimed that Garza had wired him $1,500 to cover the cost of airfare for an unofficial visit to Tennessee for Seastrunk, an apparent NCAA violation.

"All I can say is that the alleged incident, I had no knowledge of, or knowledge of a relationship at all," Kiffin said. "I have always been committed, wherever we've been, to doing things the NCAA right way and operating with the NCAA. That's all I got on it."

Seastrunk signed with Oregon in the class of 2010 but transferred to Baylor last month and is sitting out this season. Kiffin, who had been under NCAA investigation for potential recruiting violations while with the Volunteers, said he could not go into any detail on why he didn't know about Garza's alleged payment.

"I can't respond in any way to any of those questions," he said. "I said what I said about not knowing anything about it or anything having to do with that relationship or any of the things that are alleged."

Kiffin said he did not know whether it was normal for head coaches to be unaware of what their assistants were doing on the recruiting trail.

He was also asked if he'd be surprised if the NCAA re-opened an investigation against him and his staff dating back to his time at Tennessee. Previously, the athletics governing body had ruled that Kiffin's staff had committed only secondary violations.

"That's not for me to judge," Kiffin said.

Wednesday links and notes

January, 27, 2010
Wednesday's USC-related news:
  • The football coaching staff continues to experience turnover. Interim head strength and conditioning coach Jamie Yanchar resignedtoday to take a similar position with the Seattle Seahawks. Yanchar had taken over the position two days ago when long-time head strength coach Chris Carlisle also left to join former USC coach Pete Carroll with the Seahawks. This while 2009 defensive coordinator Rocky Seto left the program and Joe Barry has reportedly been hired as linebackers coach.
  • The recruiting chips are beginning to fall — slowly, very slowly. According to his hometown station's Twitter, Texas high school running back Lache Seastrunk chose Oregon over USC today. Seastrunk had previously been projected by many as a likely USC commit.
  • The L.A. Daily News' Scott Wolf reports that USC picked upwalk-on quarterback Brett Kan, a transfer from Princeton. Kan played alongside current backup offensive lineman Abe Markowitz at Hawaii's Punahou School. Kan could compete with walk-on John Manoogian and incoming recruit Jesse Scroggins for the third-string quarterback spot next season.
  • While football players Jordan Cameron and James Boyd aren't suiting up for the basketball team, other Trojans are competing in spring sports. Receiver Travon Patterson is practicing with the track team, according to one of his Twitter posts, Markowitz is continuing as a thrower, and — as we mentioned here last week — freshman safety Jawanza Starling is practicing as a backup outfielder on the baseball team.
  • USC men's basketball coach Kevin O'Neill on his team's resiliency as they depart for Oregon this afternoon: “We have character guys. These guys are high-character players, high-character human beings. And they haven’t just trudged through the sanctions. ... I think they’re a pretty resilient group."



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