Vols chase McCluster clone

Tennessee couldn't stop Dexter McCluster last fall, so the Vols are trying to recruit a guy who's a virtual clone.

Chevelle Buie grew up in Cocoa, Fla., not far from McCluster's hometown of Largo. And, at 5-9 and 165 pounds, Buie is almost identical in size to the former Ole Miss standout who burned the Vols for 282 rushing yards last November. Buie even plays the same hybrid running back/receiver position that McCluster played for the Rebels.

"I watched him a lot the last two years," Buie said. "I think I could be the same type of player."

Like McCluster, Buie's versatility is his greatest asset. When asked what positions he plays, he replied: "Running back ... wide receiver ... basically anything. I also return kicks and punts."

Buie (pronounced Boo-ee) estimates that he recorded 15 catches for "around 377 yards and four touchdowns" as a junior last fall, along with "around 1600 rushing yards" and 17 rushing TDs.

Despite his lack of ideal size, he believes running back is his best position.

"I have the vision to pick the holes," he said, "and see where I want to go."

Buie's 2009 honors included all-conference, all-district and second-team all-state. He is currently rated a 3-star prospect by Scout.com.

Noting that he has gotten letters from "everybody in the country," Buie said he holds scholarship offers from such notable programs as Tennessee, Ole Miss, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Rutgers, Oregon, LSU, Alabama, FSU, Miami, Iowa, Wake Forest, Louisville and Georgia Tech.

With so many offers to consider - and more sure to follow - he is in no hurry to whittle his list of schools.

"Right now I could go anywhere," Buie said. "I'm just going to sit back and evaluate everything, see what every school has to offer."

The diminutive dynamo says he has a solid offer from the Vols, even though he has yet to meet with or even speak with anyone from the Big Orange coaching staff.

"My high school coach told me Tennessee offered me but I haven't talked to anybody from Tennessee yet," he said. "I hope to visit this summer."

Buie says he gets essentially the same message from Cocoa's head coach before each game.

"Coach tells me 'Hey, man, you're going to be getting the ball a lot, so you need to step up,'" Buie said. "I try to step up every single game, do things nobody's ever done before. I try to take it to the end zone every time I touch it. I always look to take it to the house."

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