Honors & Awards » Second-Team All-American (USA Today, SI, FWAA) » Third-Team All-American (Athlon) » Freshman All-American (Scout, 247 Sports, USA Today) » 2014 Jet Award Punt Returner of the Year » Two-Time Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week (Fresno State, Iowa) » Nebraska Freshman Record Holder - Punt Return Yards, Punt Return TDs, Longest PR » Nebraska Bowl Record for Receptions (8 vs. USC, 2014 Holiday Bowl) » Nebraska Special Teams MVP » Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll (Fall 2014) » Nebraska Student-Athlete HERO Leadership Award (2015) » Brook Berringer Citizenship Team (2015) » Tom Osborne Citizenship Team (2015)
De’Mornay Pierson-El was one of the nation’s top special teams performers as a true freshman in 2014. One of five Husker true freshmen to see action, Pierson-El ranked among the nation’s best punt returners throughout his first season in Lincoln. As a receiver, the 5-9, 185-pounder continued to gain a bigger role throughout the season, starting the final six games of 2014.
Pierson-El finished 2014 ranked second nationally in punt return average at 17.5 yards per return. His 596 total punt return yards topped the nation, bettering all other players by nearly 200 yards. The total also ranked third on the Nebraska season charts.
Pierson-El had three punt returns for touchdowns, tying for the national lead, and just one shy of the NU season record. He also had two of the eight longest punt returns in the nation with his 86-yard TD return at Fresno State and an 80-yard touchdown at Iowa. Pierson-El helped Nebraska field the nation’s most improved punt return unit, after totaling just 70 return yards in 2013.
Pierson-El also made his mark as a receiver, particularly in the final four games. He caught 23 passes for 321 yards and four touchdowns. He had 17 of his 23 receptions in the final four games, including a Nebraska bowl-record eight catches for 102 yards and a touchdown against USC.
Pierson-El was recognized for his work, as he was named a second-team All-America selection and a freshman All-American by several organizations. Pierson-El was a second-team Football Writers Association of America selection, becoming the first Husker freshman to make the FWAA All-America team.
2014 (Freshman) Pierson-El played in all 13 games and took over the punt return chores early in the season. His workload at receiver grew throughout the year and he started the final six games. Pierson-El was one of the nation’s top punt returners, averaging 17.5 yards per return, including three returns for touchdowns. He had 23 receptions for 321 yards and four touchdowns, while adding 10 kickoff returns for 147 yards.
He found the end zone in his Nebraska debut catching an eight-yard touchdown pass against Florida Atlantic. He first showed his punt return explosiveness against McNeese State with five returns for 52 yards, including a 25-yarder.
Pierson-El earned Big Ten Special Teams Player-of-the-Week honors at Fresno State when he had five punt returns for 150 yards. He had an 86-yard punt return for a touchdown in the second quarter, the third-longest in the nation in 2014, the seventh-longest in NU history and the longest ever for a Husker freshman. He added a 51-yard return later in the second quarter.
Pierson-El’s second punt return for a touchdown came at Michigan State on an electrifying 62-yard fourth-quarter return. The touchdown pulled Nebraska within 27-22 before a last-minute rally fell short. Pierson-El had a big night at Northwestern, including a 16-yard touchdown pass to Tommy Armstrong Jr. on a reverse in the second quarter. He became the first Husker since Bobby Newcombe in 2000 to score touchdowns on a punt return, reception and also throw for a touchdown. Pierson-El also had three catches for 66 yards, including a season-long 46-yard reception.
He made his first career start at receiver against Rutgers, and a week later opened the scoring against Purdue with a 17-yard touchdown. He finished the game with three catches for 49 yards and also had a 42-yard punt return in the first quarter. Pierson-El caught four passes for a then-career-high 87 yards against Minnesota and had his third receiving touchdown of the season.
Pierson-El helped key Nebraska’s comeback from 17 points down at Iowa. He had three punt returns for 134 yards and an 80-yard touchdown. In the fourth quarter alone, he had two returns for 121 yards, the first setting up a Nebraska touchdown and the 80-yard return giving NU its first lead of the day. He also had four carries for 10 yards in the game.
Pierson-El capped his freshman season against USC with eight catches for 102 yards, including a nine-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter. The eight receptions were the most by a Husker in a bowl game.
Before Nebraska (West Potomac HS) De'Mornay Pierson-El joined Nebraska as a dynamic offensive playmaker after a standout career at West Potomac High School in Alexandria, Va. Pierson-El posted prolific offensive numbers for Coach Jeremiah Davis, while also excelling as a kick returner. As a senior, Pierson-El primarily played quarterback for West Potomac and was a dual-threat option. Pierson-El threw for 876 yards and seven touchdowns, while rushing for 1,007 yards and 20 touchdowns. The elusive Pierson-El also continued to be used in the return game. Pierson-El was a prolific runner and return man during his junior season. He rushed 181 times for 1,658 yards and 26 rushing touchdowns. He also caught 10 passes for 127 yards, and helped his team to a 6-5 record. In addition to his offensive stats, Pierson-El was a prolific return man and earned second-team Class AAA all-state honors as a kick returner from the Virginia High School Coaches Association. As a sophomore, Pierson-El focused his time at receiver and caught 49 passes for 781 yards and 15 touchdowns. His play helped West Potomac to an 8-4 record and a trip to the second round of the state playoffs. Pierson-El is regarded as one of the top 100 receivers in the country by Rivals.com and Scout.com, and he is ranked as one of the top 25 overall prospects in Virginia by Rivals.com. The 247 Sports composite rankings listed him among the top 70 "athlete" prospects in the nation. Pierson-El has also been a member of the varsity basketball team since his sophomore season. He only visited Nebraska, but had offers from Boston College, North Carolina, Marshall and Old Dominion.
Personal Pierson-El is the grandson of William and Louise Carter and he was born on Dec. 26, 1995.