INDIANAPOLIS – Niners Pro Bowl LB Patrick Willis better watch out next season. Dexter McCluster is gunning for him.
The versatile playmaker issued a challenge to his former Ole Miss teammate Saturday at the NFL Scouting Combine, saying, “I hope he’s ready” when they meet in the pros.
McCluster bragged about the time he juked “P-Willy” during a Rebels practice a few years ago.
“I still talk about it. Not to him. But I talk about it,” McCluster said. “We were in the open field. He was pursuing me at an angle, I was running, and I did sort of a drop step and got underneath him and kind of made him look a little silly.”
McCluster acknowledged that Willis “took it easy on me in practice. I was a youngin, and he never really brought the wood to me, so he kind of protected me in a sense.”
“Baby Hester” — after the Bears’ returner/receiver — was the nickname that McCluster said Willis bestowed on him in college. However, McCluster said he models himself after Titans RB Chris Johnson. McCluster revealed that he constantly studies video of Johnson’s record-setting 40-yard dash at the 2008 combine and said he’ll do so before his run Sunday for extra motivation.
Whether or not he winds up being as fast as Johnson, McCluster certainly has the lateral quickness down. He was so entertaining in his news conference Saturday that reporters began shouting questions at him from all angles, so he started doing a shimmy and sliding back and forth on the podium in a fruitless attempt to respond to everyone.
– Jason Feller