Ragemonster Experience: The greatest Husker back to never touch the ball


Richard Rhoden, Sports Editor

How would you feel if you were really, really good at something, but were never able to get enough time to really show everyone your talent?

Obviously, the people that are the best at what they do will not admit, at least publicly, that they are in fact the best. But the eye test usually never fails.

I’ve said it before and again, annoying my friends week after week, that Everett Golson is a top contender for the Heisman Trophy.


Even though I have firm beliefs on that, we have something more important to talk about.

I have harped again and again that Nebraska I-Back Imani Cross is the greatest Nebraska I-Back to NEVER touch the football.

I’m sure I’ve just conjured up feelings of anger and hostility from every good ‘ol time Husker fan, dusting off arguments that go back to the sixties. But just ride along with me here.

Sure, I get it. Ameer Abdullah is pretty good. I’m not sitting here arguing that Cross should be ahead of Abdullah on the depth chart. They know their roles in the Husker offense. What I am saying is that Cross could be a much better part of the game plan.

Don’t sit there with a straight face and tell me that Cross is getting every opportunity that he rightfully should. The most carries that he has gotten this season is 20, against Purdue, with a good reason: Abdullah left the game early due to injury.

In the Michigan State game, where the Spartans held Abdullah to just 45 yards on 24 carries, how many times did Cross touch the football?


You cannot play a significant role in any offense if you can go an ENTIRE game without even touching the football.

Cross was brought into the game, but his size and strength were taken advantage of by being an extra pass blocker.

Abdullah also struggled in the McNeese State game, only garnering 54 yards on 17 carries. Guesses on Cross?

Three attempts for one yard. You cannot get into a flow of the game with that kind of opportunity. Not possible.

Abdullah is the main back, but is now banged up. Is that because of over usage? Maybe not; but if so, Cross could be instrumental in keeping everyone healthy, except for the defenders trying to bring him down.

We all know what Abdullah brings to the table. A speedy, hard-nosed back that has an upfield cut that can destroy even the toughest of knees.

Do you know what Cross brings?

He is almost the opposite of Abdullah, with a large, 230-pound frame, a downhill runner with a mean mentality.

There aren’t too many individuals out there that are willing to meet this guy in the hole head on.

In every year that Cross has been at Nebraska, he has less than 100 carries, less than 500 yards, but the number I look at is his yards per carry. Not once has his average yards per carry been under five.

If you can get at least five yards per carry, that will wear a team down and he’s probably considered one of the best backs in the country.

Maybe Cross came to Nebraska at the worst time possible, at the peak of #FearAmeer.

However, I see it in the kid. I see greatness. Husker fans love a back like Cross. A mean bulldozer.

Imani Cross will never admit to you that he is the best at what he does, but I’ll do it for him.

He is the greatest Nebraska I-Back to NEVER touch the football.