Family feel plays big part for Cross' pledge

It's no secret that the running back position is a high priority for Derek Dooley and his 2012 recruiting class. It was also no secret that Gainesville, Georgia standout athlete Imani Cross liked Tennessee a lot and has been considering making a pledge to the Volunteers. Go "Inside" to get his thoughts and his mother's Sharon's thoughts about the Tennessee Volunteers.

It's no secret that the running back position is a high priority for Derek Dooley and his 2012 recruiting class.

It was also no secret that Gainesville, Georgia standout athlete Imani Cross liked Tennessee a lot and has been considering making a pledge to the Volunteers.

According to Cross it only took him about two and a half hours to make his decision public.

"It took me about 2 and a half hours before I made it official," Cross told InsideTennessee.com. and other local media. "When I sat down with Coach Dooley I told him I wanted to be a Vol, he was very excited, he said wow, that he was happy to have me a part of his family. I'm glad to be a Vol."

Family was a big factor in Cross' decision.

Cross' mother Sharon agreed with her son that the family appeal of the Volunteers made it an easy decision for her son.

"I liked the fact, what really got me was the emphasis on the whole individual," Mrs. Cross told InsideTennessee.com. They really have a program designed not just for their sport, but they promote their sport while they build him into the man after, that's what sold me."

Cross is listed at 6-foot-1, 215-pounds and appears to be a big physical type back.

"The family atmosphere, I love being around people that care about us not just as football players but as students as well," Cross said. "That they teach us to how to handle every aspect in my life, not just football."

Cross feels that one of his strong points is work ethic.

"I'm a very coachable player," Cross said. "I love to play hard and put everything on the line and give it everything I have on every play. I'm very fiery, I love to get amped up and add intensity to the game."

Cross will graduate early and enroll at Tennessee in January.

"There are some great lineman here," Cross said. "I told them that we needed them here, I feel the right folks will end up being here."

Cross is the first commitment of the 2012 class for Dooley and his coaching staff.

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