NAME – Dexter Marquise McCluster.
BORN – August 25, 1988 in Florida.
FAMILY β Dad is Marcus McCluster, Mom is Wendy Hall. He has a three-year old daughter.
HIS MOM SAID: “When he was 10, he told me, ‘Mom, I’m going to go to college and go to the NFL and buy you a big house. And I always said, ‘Okay, whatever, just have fun with the game.’ He did, and this is how far he’s gotten.”
PERSONAL STATS β 5-8ΒΎ, 172 pounds, 29ΒΌ-inch arms, 8 3/8-inch hands.
MORE PERSONAL STATS β 4.53 seconds in 40-yard dash, 20 reps with 225 pounds on bench press, 37.5-inch vertical jump, 9-foot 10-inch broad jump, 18 in Wonderlic.
HIGH SCHOOL – graduated with the class of 2006 from Largo High School in Largo, Florida. He finished with a 2.8 GPA.
ATHLETIC CAREER – As a senior, he was one of the most productive high school running backs in Florida, running for 2,490 yards, averaging 191.5 yards per game and scoring 39 touchdowns. As a junior, he ran for 1,424 yards and 14 touchdowns. He earned first-team All-Florida honors as a senior. McCluster also played basketball for the Packers and was part of the track team, qualifying for the state meet in the long jump and high jump.
A SCHOOLBOY NOTE TO REMEMBER: He received Largo’s Iron-Man Award for never missing a workout during his high school career, despite weighing just 150 pounds.
MCCLUSTER SAID: “I think I’ve answered all the questions. Scouts don’t bring up my size anymore. They don’t bring up the speed. They don’t bring up my toughness. Give me the chance and I’ll get the job done. Wherever I go, I’m going to make an impression.”
FRESHMAN SEASON ’06 β Although he was recruited as a running back, he was moved to wide receiver in pre-season camp. He started the first five games of the season at flanker, then missed the rest of the season due to a concussion and a shoulder injury. McCluster had 574 all-purpose yards including returning 13 kickoffs for 274 yards and 15 catches for 232 yards. He had 68 yards rushing on eight carries.
SOPHOMORE SEASON ’07 β Lingering problems with his shoulder kept McCluster off the field for the season’s first four games. He played the final eight games, starting the last three at flanker, finishing with 518 all-purpose yards.
JUNIOR YEAR ’08 β He was named to the All-SEC second team as an all-purpose back and he racked up 1,280 all-purpose yards. McCluster and Florida’s Percy Harvin were the only two players in the SEC to rank in the conference’s top 10 in rushing, receiving, receptions and all-purpose yards. He scored seven touchdowns, and he also threw five passes, but two were intercepted. He started games at slot receiver, split end, halfback and flanker.
SENIOR YEAR ’09 β McCluster was named to the third-team All-America team as an all-purpose back. He finished with 1,717 all-purpose yards, running for 1,169 yards and catching passes for 520 yards as he was first-team All-SEC as all-purpose back and second-team All-SEC as a running back.
STATISTICAL NOTE β In ’09 McCluster became the first player in SEC history to gain over 500 receiving yards (420) and 1,000 rushing yards (1,169) in the same season.
MISSISSIPPI COACH HOUSTON NUTT SAID: “Dexter doesn’t play small, he plays like a giant and he consistently gives you production. He always falls forward, finds those creases and makes big plays. I don’t think people realize how well he blocked. That doesn’t go down on a stat book. He’s tough, very durable.”
GAME TO REMEMBER β For McCluster it came in ’09 against Tennessee and his new Chiefs teammate Eric Berry. He set a Volunteers record for single-game rushing yardage with 282 yards on 25 carries with touchdown runs of 15, 23, 32 and 71 yards. He also caught four passes for 42 yards. His performance earned him national Player of the Week honors.
FORMER TENNESSEE HEAD COACH LANE KIFFIN: “A lot of times when you’re small and quick, you don’t have that top-end speed. I assume he (McCluster) is going to be a 4.3 (40-yard dash) guy at the Combine. What I saw was a first-round draft choice. He reminds me a lot of (Titans running back) Chris Johnson. He’ll definitely get a shot at running back.”
OVERALL NUMBERS β 40 games/28 stars β¦ 130 catches for 1,703 yards and 7 TDs β¦ 304 carries for 1,955 yards and 15 TDs β¦ 1 of 6 passing for 27 yards, 2 INTs and 1 TD pass β¦ 8 punt returns for 57 yards β¦ 19 kickoff returns for 374 yards β¦ he produced 4,116 all-purpose yards on offense and special teams.
EDUCATION β Majored in journalism at Mississippi.
LIFE-CHANGING MOMENT β It happened last year and McCluster almost lost his life. But a car accident helped him change the path of his life. Here’s a video of his testimony about the accident and his new-found religious beliefs.