Tennessee Pledge Visits UNC

Accompanied by his Gainesville (Ga.) North Hall coaches, Imani Cross visited North Carolina earlier this month.

"I learned that [UNC] has a very good education and that they have a lot of connections after college in terms of people in high positions all around the world," Cross said.

Cross, a 6-foot, 215-pound running back, made the visit in spite of his verbal commitment to Tennessee.

"I'm evaluating," Cross said. "If a school gives me certain opportunities that I don't think Tennessee does, then I think that's when the decision will come [to go in another direction]. But until then, I'm going to keep evaluating and keep looking."

Included in Cross' evaluation plan is to take all five of his official visits. The schools currently slotted for the five spots are UNC, Purdue, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and Virginia, according to Cross.

"[The official visits] will be my final say," Cross said. "I'm going to visit those schools and I'm going to say ‘Hey, I'm going to stick it out [with Tennessee]' or I'm going to go in another direction."

Of the aforementioned schools, Cross has made unofficial trips to UNC, Tennessee, and Virginia.

During his UNC visit, Cross spent time with the Tar Heels coaching staff and toured the campus.

"The campus is beautiful," Cross said. "You're talking about one of the most beautiful campuses in the country. [It has] beautiful scenery and it's a college town. The thing I loved the most is that the stadium sits right in the middle of the campus."

Among the coaches Cross spent time with was Butch Davis.

"He gave me his background and what he's done of course in the NFL and college, his philosophies, what he looks from his players – things of that sort," Cross said. "It wasn't anything too personal. He and I were just getting to know each other and he was telling me about his career."

Cross also watched film with Ken Browning, UNC's running backs coach.

"He just went over his background and told me ‘This is what I like out of my ‘backs,'" Cross said. "He told me the plays. He told me the way he coaches his system [and] the way he coaches players."

Cross verbally committed to Tennessee in late February.

"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."

After tearing his Achilles' tendon during the previous spring, Cross didn't play his junior year until midway through the 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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