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) » Nebraska Student-Athlete HERO Leadership Award (2013)
Senior I-back Imani Cross has provided a powerful reserve option behind Ameer Abdullah each of the past three seasons. This season, Cross will look to gain a bigger role in the offense following Abdullah’s departure. Cross is the most experienced of four I-backs who figure to battle for the starting role, beginning this spring.
The 6-1, 240-pound Cross has played in 39 career games and eclipsed 1,000 career rushing yards, while reaching the end zone 22 times, averaging a touchdown on better than one of 10 carries in his career. Cross has been most utilized in short-yardage situations, but has shown the ability to become an every-down back in the NU offense.
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. Cross topped 30 rushing yards five times during the season, including a career-high 109 rushing yards on 22 carries against Illinois. Cross also saw extensive action against Purdue, carrying the ball 20 times and scoring two touchdowns following an injury to 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. Cross had a four-yard TD run as part of his career-high rushing effort against Illinois.
Cross posted the sixth multipe TD game of his career against Purdue with TD runs of two and one yard. He had six carries for 31 yards against Minnesota.
2013 (Sophomore) Cross finished as 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 career-high 105 yards in the season opener against Wyoming. Cross reached the end zone twice against the Cowboys, including a one-yard touchdown and a 31-yard TD scamper in the third quarter.
Cross scored his 10th career touchdown from a yard out against Southern Miss. Against South Dakota State, he posted his second two-TD game of the year and rushed for 60 yards on 10 carries. Cross carried 15 times for 76 yards and a 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 was one of four I-backs to top 300 rushing yards and average better than 5.0 yards per carry. He finished with 55 carries for 324 yards, and carried the ball at least seven times in five games. 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, assisting a Nebraska comeback. 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.
Before Nebraska (North Hall HS) Cross was Nebraska’s first signee from Georgia since 2008. He 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 is an ethnic studies major.
Cross has been one of the most active Huskers in community outreach efforts. He is a two-time member of the Brook Berringer Citizenship Team and also a 2014 member of the Tom Osborne Citizenship Team. Cross has volunteered his time with numerous organizations and events, including Uplifting Athletes, Make-a-Wish, School is Cool Week, Husker Hotline, 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.