Nebraska Football Practice, 8.8.12

Nebraska running back Imani Cross (32) jogs during practice for the Nebraska football team on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012, at Hawks Championship Center.

FRANCIS GARDLER / Lincoln Journal Star

Imani Cross definitely has them talking.

That's as far as we'll go for now. After all, we're just a week into fall camp, and just because you look the part doesn't mean you'll play the part once the games start.

But the 6-foot-1, 225-pound true freshman running back certainly does know how to make a big first impression.

And having them talking is usually the first step on the ladder.

"He's a big boy," said Rex Burkhead.

"If true frosh RB Imani Cross isn't getting carries this fall, I will be shocked. The kid is a stud," tweeted Big Ten Network reporter Tom Dienhart a few days ago after seeing him practice.

We shall see.

Running backs coach Ron Brown isn't sure yet on the answer if Cross will play this year.

"If you had to play him, we'd play him, he's capable of it, but there's still a lot to learn," Brown said. "But what's exciting, I think, about us is we have a lot of different ways, a lot of different weapons. And I think that we probably improved on the most is getting the big back in the system. We've really started to recruit in that realm."

Brown points at not just Cross, but big backs like Mike Marrow, and even some walk-ons like King Frazier and Graham Nabity.

He likes his assortment of backs quite a bit.

He also likes the work ethic some of those young players are showing.

In the case of Cross? "He plays the way he looks," Brown said. "He's a big, strong, inside kind of guy. A physical guy. A very conscientious kid. He's working at it hard. His work ethic is tremendous. He's going to be a good player. We just have to keep smoothing him out on a few things."

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