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The SEC's 30 best players: No. 3

It’s been a while since a player has electrified this league on a week-in, week-out basis the way this next guy did last season.

Simply, he was a 170-pound dynamo that nobody could tackle. He was also one of my biggest misses in the preseason countdown of the SEC’s 30 best players. I had him No. 29, which was much too low.

I guess he showed me and everybody else in this league with just a sensational senior season:

McClusterMcClusterNo. 3: Dexter McCluster, RB/WR, Ole Miss: McCluster was the most dynamic player in the league in 2009 – period. And had he been at running back from the beginning of the season, he would have been mentioned in all the Heisman Trophy talk. He was that good and that productive. In rushing for 1,169 yards and catching 44 passes for 520 yards last season, McCluster became the first player in SEC history to rush for 1,000 yards and have 500 yards receiving in the same season. Go back and count up all the long touchdown plays he had, too. There’s no substitute for that in an offense. McCluster turned missed tackles into touchdowns and didn’t need much of a hole to make things happen. Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt didn’t put McCluster at running back full time until the Arkansas game on Oct. 24. In his last five SEC games, he averaged 219.6 all-purpose yards, 164.2 rushing yards and was responsible for eight touchdowns. For the season, McCluster had six plays of 50-plus yards, including an 86-yard touchdown run in the Cotton Bowl win over Oklahoma State. His best game came in a magical performance against Tennessee when he rushed for a school-record 282 yards, the 11th highest rushing total in SEC history. McCluster was so good the second half of the season that every time he touched it, you almost expected him to score.

  • No. 4: Tim Tebow, QB, Florida

  • No. 5: Eric Berry, S, Tennessee

  • No. 6: Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas

  • No. 7: Anthony Dixon, RB, Mississippi State

  • No. 8: Javier Arenas, CB, Alabama

  • No. 9: Joe Haden, CB, Florida

  • No. 10: Antonio Coleman, DE, Auburn

  • No. 11: Aaron Hernandez, TE, Florida

  • No. 12: Eric Norwood, OLB, South Carolina

  • No. 13: Brandon Spikes, LB, Florida

  • No. 14: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

  • No. 15: Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida

  • No. 16: Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee

  • No. 17: Ben Tate, RB, Auburn

  • No. 18: Montario Hardesty, RB, Tennessee

  • No. 19: Mike Johnson, OG, Alabama

  • No. 20: Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida

  • No. 21: Rennie Curran, LB, Georgia

  • No. 22: Randall Cobb, QB/WR, Kentucky

  • No. 23: Shay Hodge, WR, Ole Miss

  • No. 24: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia

  • No. 25: Pernell McPhee, DE, Mississippi State

  • No. 26: Malcolm Sheppard, DT, Arkansas

  • No. 27: Mark Barron, S, Alabama

  • No. 28: Terrence Cody, NG, Alabama

  • No. 29: Brandon LaFell, WR, LSU

  • No. 30: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama