After Saturday's record-breaking performance in a 42-17 win over Tennessee, that position identification should be changed.
McCluster, the 5-foot-9, 165-pound whirlwind, rushed for 282 yards on 25 carries and scored four touchdowns. He added four receptions for 42 yards to reach 324 all-purpose yards, giving him school records in both categories.
"If we told him to go play wideout, he would," Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt said. "If we told him to play free safety, he would. If we told him to play right tackle, which we wouldn't do, he would."
Right now, he's at running back, and showing he's one of the nation's best despite his size. The rushing performance was the second best of the season in the Football Bowl Subdivision and the best by a BCS conference player. The all-purpose total was the third best.
McCluster used his uncommon speed and cutback ability to slice up a good Tennessee defense and help the Rebels (7-3, 3-3 SEC) become bowl eligible for the second straight seasons.
Scouts from the Independence, Liberty, Chick-Fil-A, Outback and Capital One bowls were in attendance Saturday and there figure to be plenty more when the Rebels take on LSU this week in a game that could mean something when bowl selection time comes around.
"We're bowl eligible now and we can move on," McCluster said. "I told the team Friday night that we were in position to win out and challenged our offense. Imagine what could happen with all 11 playing together at 100 percent? We can't be stopped."
McCluster assumed full-time duty at running back at the midseason point after the Rebels struggled offensively to start and tumbled from the Top 25. In three of the four games since — he sat out against FCS opponent Northern Arizona to rest — he's rushed for 591 yard to increase his season total to 755. He now has 1,149 all-purpose yards.
The most spectacular play in McCluster's resume was a 71-yard touchdown run that gave Ole Miss an insurmountable 35-17 fourth-quarter lead against Tennessee. The play was originally designed "to gain 4 yards and a first down," Nutt said.
McCluster burst through a seam at the line of scrimmage and collided with tackle John Jerry, blocking at the point of attack.
"I felt him fall on my back and get his balance," Jerry said. "Then I felt him take off and I knew the party was over."
McCluster swerved past Vols defensive back Dennis Rogan to get to the sidelines before cutting back across the field to beat the pursuit angles of a pair of trailing defenders.
When he reached the end zone, McCluster turned to view the replay on the scoreboard.
"Sometimes it surprises me with the cuts I do," the senior said. "I was born with good vision and some quick feet."
Videos about Dexter McCluster Click here for Wild Rebel On'em from Ole Miss Campus Crusade Click here for Dexter McCluster's testimony from Ole Miss Campus Crusade. McCluster Named National Player Of The Week
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Walter Camp Football Foundation announced Sunday Dexter McCluster as its National Offensive Player of the Week for games ending November 14.
McCluster is also one of four nominees for the AT&T All-America Player of the Week award, and AT&T is relying on fans to determine the winner. Fans can text message** VOTE to 345345 on their wireless phone to opt in for the chance to vote.
A senior from Largo, Fla., McCluster posted school records of 282 rushing yards and 324 all-purpose yards in Saturday's 42-17 win over Tennessee. McCluster also rushed for four TDs, which ties the second-most in school history.
This is the sixth year that the Walter Camp Football Foundation is honoring one offensive and one defensive player as its national Bowl Subdivision player of the week during the regular season. Recipients are selected by a panel of national media members and administered by the Walter Camp Football Foundation.
McCluster Named SEC Offensive Player Of The Week
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - After a record-setting performance in Saturday's 42-17 win over Tennessee, Ole Miss' Dexter McCluster was named SEC Offensive Player of the Week, as announced today by the league office.
McCluster was also honored as the National Player of the Week by the Walter Camp Football Foundation on Sunday. This marks the second time this year for McCluster to earn SEC honors as he also picked up the honor after the Arkansas game.
A senior from Largo, Fla., McCluster set school records with 282 rushing and 324 all-purpose yards and scored four touchdowns in the win over Tennessee.
The 282 rushing yards is the 11th highest rushing total in SEC history and the 7th highest in an SEC intra-conference game. The 324 yards is 8th highest in league history and seventh highest in an SEC intra-conference game.
McCluster scored two touchdowns in the first quarter, on runs of 15 and 23 yards. He tacked on a 32-yard TD run midway through the second quarter and added a 71-yard TD run early in the fourth quarter. McCluster averaged 11.3 yards per carry on 25 attempts and caught four passes for 42 yards in the game.
A permanent team captain, McCluster leads the team in rushing (75.5 ypg) and is second in receiving (31 rec, 394 yds). Last year, McCluster joined Florida's Percy Harvin as the only players to rank top 10 in the SEC in rushing yards, receiving yards, receptions and all-purpose yards.
This marks the fourth Player of the Week honor for a Rebel this season, as John Jerry and Daverin Geralds were named top offensive linemen for the weeks of the Vanderbilt and UAB games, respectively. Ole Miss garnered eight SEC Players of the Week in 2008.
The Rebels (7-3, 3-3 SEC) return to action this week as they host LSU (8-2, 4-2 SEC). Saturday's kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. CT at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, and the game will be televised by CBS.