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NU Football BIO
32
Imani Cross
Player Profile:
Imani Cross 804990
Position: I Back
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 225
Year: Freshman
Hometown: Gainesville, Ga.
High School: North Hall

Honors & Awards
» Academic All-Big Ten (2013)
» Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll (Fall, 2012)
» Big Ten Freshman of the Week (vs. Idaho State, 2012)
» Brook Berringer Citizenship Team (2013, 2014, 2015)
» Tom Osborne Citizenship Team (2014, 2015)
» Nebraska Student-Athlete HERO Leadership Award (2013)

I-back Imani Cross was a standout performer throughout his Nebraska career, and closed his time as a Husker with a strong performance down the stretch in his senior season. The 6-1, 240-pound Cross was a powerful short-yardage option for the Huskers each of his four seasons and also showed the ability to be an every-down performer.

Cross capped his career with 1,606 rushing yards to rank 34th in school history. Cross ran for more than 300 yards in each of his four seasons and also had at least five rushing touchdowns each year. Cross finished his career with 28 rushing touchdowns to tie for 14th in school history. Cross reached 25 career rushing touchdowns in less than 300 carries, and is the only Husker to reach the 25-TD mark in less than 300 carries. He finished his career with seven games with multiple rushing touchdowns.

An ethnic studies major, Cross is on track to earn his degree in May of 2016.

2015 (Senior)
Cross was one of three I-backs to see extensive playing time in 2015, and played in 12 games with starts in the season’s final four contests. Cross finished second on the team with 451 rushing yards and was also second on the team with six rushing touchdowns.

Cross did the majority of his work in the final five games of the season while fellow back Terrell Newby was limited with an ankle injury. Cross ran for at least 55 yards in each of the final four games, beginning with 18 carries for 98 yards and a touchdown in a win over Michigan State.

He carried 20 times for 90 yards, including a season-long 38-yard run at Rutgers. Against Big Ten West champ Iowa, Cross had 19 carries for 55 yards and a pair of rushing touchdowns. He closed his Nebraska career with 16 carries for 62 yards and a touchdown in a win over UCLA in the Foster Farms Bowl. Cross also topped 30 yards against BYU and at Purdue.

2014 (Junior)                
Cross played in all 12 regular-season games before missing the bowl game with a knee injury. Cross had 75 carries for 384 yards and five rushing touchdowns, and topped 30 rushing yards five times. He had a career-high 109 rushing yards on 22 carries against Illinois, including a four-yard TD run. Cross saw extensive action against Purdue, carrying the ball 20 times and scoring two touchdowns following an injury to Ameer Abdullah.

Cross had a 25-yard run against Florida Atlantic and scored the first of his five touchdowns. He had a career-long 62-yard touchdown run at Fresno State and finished the night with 69 rushing yards. He also had six carries for 31 yards against Minnesota.

2013 (Sophomore)
Cross was NU’s second-leading rusher, with 85 carries for 447 yards and 10 touchdowns. Cross had 10 or more carries in four games and rushed for at least 50 yards five times, including a season-high 105 yards in the opener against Wyoming.  Cross reached the end zone twice against the Cowboys, scoring on runs of one and 31 yards.

Against South Dakota State, he posted his second two-TD game of the year, and rushing for 60 yards on 10 carries. Cross carried 15 times for 76 yards and a touchdown against Illinois. He then carried a career-high 16 times for 56 yards and two touchdowns at Purdue, giving him three straight games with 50 or more rushing yards. Against Michigan State, Cross had a season-long 51-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

2012 (Freshman)
Cross played in all 14 games as a true freshman and had 55 carries for 324 yards. He was one of four I-backs to top 300 rushing yards and average better than 5.0 yards per carry. Cross was third on the team in rushing touchdowns with seven, including five in Big Ten play.

Cross rushed 11 times for 62 yards in his debut against Southern Miss. Against Arkansas State, Cross scored his first career touchdown on a two-yard run in the fourth quarter. He finished with 66 yards against the Red Wolves, including a season-long 44-yard run. Cross had his first 100-yard day with 100 yards on 12 carries vs. Idaho State. 

Against Penn State, Cross rushed for 22 yards and two third-quarter touchdowns. He added a pair of touchdowns a week later against Minnesota, and had a 26-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter of the Big Ten title game against Wisconsin.

Before Nebraska (North Hall HS)
Cross piled up 1,698 rushing yards as a senior at North Hall High School, including 24 rushing touchdowns. He averaged nearly nine yards per carry, and also excelled on defense for Coach Robert Christmas, making 88 tackles as a linebacker. Cross’ play earned him second-team Class AAA all-state honors in Georgia.

As a junior, Cross rushed for 600 yards and nine touchdowns, despite being limited to five games because of an injury. As a sophomore, he helped Flowery Branch High School to a 10-4 record and a playoff berth by rushing for 1,417 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Cross also competed in track and field, earning a seventh-place medal in shot put his senior season. Cross was ranked among the top 35 running backs in the country and the top 50 overall prospects in Georgia by several recruiting outlets. Cross also visited Kentucky and East Carolina and had numerous other offers, including Tennessee, South Carolina and Georgia Tech.

Personal
Cross was born on Sept. 23, 1993, and he is the son of Tim and Sharon Cross. Cross was a 2013 academic All-Big Ten honoree.

Cross has been one of the most active Huskers in community outreach efforts. He is a three-time member of the Brook Berringer Citizenship Team and a two-time member of the Tom Osborne Citizenship Team. He has volunteered his time with numerous organizations and events, including Uplifting Athletes, Make-a-Wish, School is Cool Week, FCA, and many school, hospital and community center outreach events. Cross was also presented a Nebraska Student-Athlete HERO Leadership Award in 2013.

Cross’ brother, Izaan, played defensive end at Georgia Tech, completing his career in 2012.

 
Cross' Career Statistics

Year

G/S

Att.

Net

Y/A

Y/G

Long

TDs

2012 14/0 55 324 5.9 23.1 44 vs. Arkansas State 7

2013

13/0

85

447

5.3

34.4

51 vs. Michigan State

10

2014

12/0

75

384

5.1

32.0

62 at Fresno State

5

2015

12/4

112

477

4.0

37.6

38 at Rutgers

6

Totals

51/4

327

1,661

4.9

31.5  

62 at Fresno State

28
Single-Game Highs
» Rushes – 20 vs. Purdue (2014), at Rutgers (2015)
» Rushing Yards – 109 vs. Illinois (2014)
» Rushing Touchdowns – 2 (seven times)
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