Pierson-El leads nation in punt return yards

De'Mornay Pierson-El has become a weapon for the Huskers on special teams.

LINCOLN, Neb. - While some fans might have a hard time finding positives from Nebraska’s 27-22 loss to the hands of Michigan State, almost everyone can agree true freshman De'Mornay Pierson-El is a special player.

The Virginia native was crucial in the Huskers’ attempted comeback in the fourth-quarter, scoring on a 62-yard punt return with just over three minutes left that pull Nebraska within five.

“I just saw a lane and hit. All my blocks were there and had to outrun two people and I was in the end zone,” said Pierson-El. “I was catching it all the way, once it was off his foot; I knew it was a catchable ball.”

The touchdown was Pierson-El’s second of the year as a punt returner. With 334 yards, the former three-star prospect now has a 100-yard lead over Kaelin Clay of Utah for best in the nation.

“It was high and out of his coverage,” said Pierson-El. “Coach Bo told me if he did it that this game, make him pay.”

In high school, punters and kickoff specialists were told to not kick to him. It might just be a matter of time before the same happens on the college level – even as a freshman.

“He’s a weapon, the guys are blocking well for him,” said Pelini.

While Pierson-El is getting good blocks; his teammates on defense know if they get a stop on third-down, there is a chance a touchdown could be just moments away.”

“He’s a great athlete. That’s one thing as a special teams unit we have been working on a lot since this year,” said safety Nate Gerry. “Last year our punt return wasn’t good. Coaches have wanted to make a statement, he’s doing a phenomenal guy.”

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