UNC Pursuing Ga. RB

Three years ago, North Carolina recruited Izaan Cross, who landed at Georgia Tech. The UNC coaching staff is hoping for a better result with his younger brother, Imani, a 6-foot, 215-pound running back from Gainesville (Ga.) North Hall.

"I've had contact with North Carolina the past couple of days," Cross said. "They're actually supposed to be coming here [on Wednesday]. I spoke to [Art Kaufman] on Friday and I talked to them once before that. But we haven't been in contact other than that."

During Friday's conversation, Kaufman made it clear to Cross that that contact would be increasing.

"[Kaufman] said he's interested in recruiting me and he thinks I would be a good fit at North Carolina," Cross said.

What wasn't clear, though, is if UNC has verbally offered Cross. He is sure of scholarship offers from Georgia Tech, Maryland, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt.

Regardless, Cross has a genuine interest in UNC.

"I think North Carolina is a great school," Cross said. "They have a great education and Chapel Hill is a beautiful place. It's just a great situation all around, academically and athletically."

Cross plans on receiving a closer look at UNC during a June visit to the school.

"If [UNC] is a good fit then we'll go from there," Cross said. "So I'm interested enough to at least take a look."

Cross is also working on scheduling June trips to Maryland, Vanderbilt, and Wisconsin. He is visiting these schools in spite of his verbal commitment to Tennessee.

"I'm still a pretty strong commit," Cross said. "But I'm at the point now where I feel like these other universities are very good universities and I should take my time and look into them as well before I really shut the door and say ‘I'm going to the University of Tennessee.'"

Cross would like to "shut that door" by the end of the summer.

Tennessee, which he pledged to in late February, is the only school Cross has visited as a recruit.

"I just like their staff and I like the atmosphere around the Tennessee program," Cross said. "I like the strength and conditioning coach and the running back coach – I just had a good connection with them when I was up there. And I felt like that would be a good fit for me as a person, as a student, and as an athlete."

Having an older brother that has gone through the recruiting process is an advantage Cross possesses that most recruits don't have.

"He just told me to enjoy it and have fun, because it comes around one time," Cross said. "And [he has said] to not let it stress me out."

The elder Cross hasn't attempted to recruit his younger sibling to Georgia Tech.

"My relationship with my brother is as long as he and I are happy that's all that matters," Cross said. "It's not the type of thing where he wants me to come to Georgia Tech. We don't worry about those kinds of things. We just want to be happy and let [where we end up] handle itself.

"I know that he loves Georgia Tech. He loves the people that he's with – his teammates. He's having a grand time."

After tearing his Achilles' tendon a year ago, Cross didn't join North Hall's lineup until the midway through last season. He ended the shortened season with 600 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns. At full strength, Cross rushed for 1,417 yards and 17 touchdowns during his sophomore season.

Imani Cross Profile

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