Cross earning early praise

Nebraska true freshman running back Imani Cross could be a guy who contributes right away according to teammates.

Chicago, IL - When running back Imani Cross committed to Nebraska in the 2012 class, Big Red Report projected the Georgia product would play right away.

While the summer months can be nicknamed the "Underwear Olympics," as no teams are wearing pads, Cross' stature has impressed older teammates during June and July.

"He's a big boy," said Nebraska starting running back Rex Burkhead. "He will definitely fit into that bigger back role for that upcoming season."

Cross, who's listed at 6-foot-1, 225 pounds on Huskers.com, ran for nearly 1,700 yards at North Hall high school in 2011.

"He's a great kid as well. I have become good friends with him and he's eager to learn. He's been very patient with everything," said Burkhead, who feels Cross has what it takes to play early.

"I think so; it's up to the coaching staff. We still got fall camp and haven't put on the shoulder pads yet, so it will be up to the coaches to see how he's come along."

It's not just his offensive teammates who are noticing. Players on the opposite side of the ball are as well.

"I call him AP (Adrian Peterson), he looks like AP and in the face he looks like Brandon Jacobs," said linebacker Will Compton. "He's got a physic and got some talent."

In the past Nebraska has not been shy playing true freshman. In 2011, wide receiver Jamal Turner, running back Ameer Abdullah, running back Braylon Heard, and Aaron Green (since transferred) all got time as true freshman.

Josh Harvey has covered college football and recruiting for Fox Sports & Scout.com since 2008. He is now the Publisher of Big Red Report, covering Nebraska athletics.
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