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McCluster thankful for predecessors like Bush, Harvin

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Recent posts by Michael Blunda

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By Michael Blunda

INDIANAPOLIS — Thanks to Reggie Bush and Percy Harvin, Dexter McCluster is now a coveted NFL prospect.

With the league becoming more and more about speed and getting quick playmakers out in space, the Ole Miss product is entering the pro ranks at just the right time. Measuring in at a slight 5-8 and 172 pounds, he might not have had a place in the NFL before guys like Bush and Harvin changed the way offenses are designed.

"They're having great success, which is obviously helping me out," McCluster said of the aforementioned pair on Saturday at the Scouting Combine. "A lot of smaller guys are having success too, helping me out. So it's good to have some people like that in the league right now that are having great success and contributing to a team, that way I can step in and show that I can make the same impact as they are."

Entering the league as a running back, McCluster lined up all over the field for Rebels, using his breakaway speed to make big play after big play. His impressive showing in college has pro clubs less worried about his less-than-ideal size.

"A lot of teams aren't really talking about the weight or height situation," he said. "A lot of them are saying, 'We really don't care. You're a playmaker. You play football, so that's what you do. Your game speaks for itself.' They see I'm not scared to take on a block, a man-to-man block, and they see that I can make one man miss. Right now I don't think it's such a big issue. It never was an issue for me because it's been that way all my life, always a smaller guy. I had to work that much harder to get better and to prove that there is something different about me."

Not surprisingly, a player McCluster looks up to is Titans RB Chris Johnson, who was considered too small to be an every-down back yet rushed for more than 2,000 yards in 2009.

"I watch his 40 all the time," McClsuter said. "I try to watch and see what he does and try to see if I can do the same thing. To see him on the field, he's electrifying. He can make one guy miss, he can make something out of nothing, he has the top-end speed, and he can take it up in there. Not to mention he has dreads too. I don't have the gold teeth, though."

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