- Big Ten Freshman of the Week (vs. Idaho State, 2012)
- Nebraska Student-Athlete HERO Leadership Award (2013)
- Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll (Fall 2012)
Wyoming: Scored a one-yard second-quarter touchdown, and ran 31 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter... finished the game with 13 carries for a career-high 105 yards, topping his 100-yard effort against Idaho State in 2012. Southern Miss: Carried the ball four times for 17 yards... scored a touchdown on a one-yard run in the fourth quarter... third touchdown of the year and 10th of his career. UCLA: Carried the ball three times for 19 yards. SDSU: Scored two TDs on the ground, marking the second time this season and fourth time in his career he has scored two rushing TDs... finished the day with 60 yards on 10 carries.
I-back Imani Cross played a key role as a true freshman in 2012, being used primarily in short-yardage situations as a power back. The 6-1, 225-pound Cross performed well in his role, but is set on becoming a more complete back in 2013.
Cross and junior Ameer Abdullah are Nebraska’s top two returning I-backs and figure to carry a bulk of the rushing load as the Huskers look to once again be among the nation’s top rushing teams. Cross was one of five true freshmen to see action for Nebraska last season.
Despite being a physically imposing back when he stepped on campus, Cross spent the offseason working hard in the weight room, dropping about 10 pounds to improve his overall quickness.
Cross played in all 14 games and was one of four I-backs to top 300 rushing yards and average better than 5.0 yards per carry. Cross finished with 55 carries for 324 yards, an average of 5.9 yards per carry, and his role grew in the second half of the season as Rex Burkhead sat out with a knee injury.
Cross was third on the team in rushing touchdowns with seven, including five touchdowns in Big Ten play. He had at least seven carries five times. Cross was impressive in his debut against Southern Miss, rushing 11 times for 62 yards. 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 helped Nebraska roll up 385 rushing yards against Idaho State, by rushing for 100 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries.
With Burkhead sidelined for the majority of five straight games, Cross grew into the short-yardage back role. He helped Nebraska grind out the final seven minutes of the clock in the win over Michigan. Then against Penn State, Cross rushed for 22 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries. Both of his scores came in the third quarter, turning a 14-point halftime deficit into a tie game. He added a pair of touchdowns a week later against Minnesota and finished that game with 19 rushing yards. Cross rushed three times for 35 yards in the Big Ten title game, including a 26-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Before Nebraska (North Hall HS)
Cross joined the 2012 class in the final week before Signing Day in February. The Gainesville, Ga., native checks in at 6-1 and 225 pounds, giving NU a physical presence in the backfield. Cross was Nebraska’s first signee from the state of Georgia since Alfonzo Dennard in 2008. 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 from his linebacker position. 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. In the spring, Cross 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 by Rivals.com, 247 Sports and Scout.com, while both Rivals and 247 ranked him among the top 50 overall prospects in Georgia. 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’ brother, Izaan, will be a senior defensive end at Georgia Tech in 2012, and has 28 career starts.