Height isn't everything

Nebraska has a pair of 5-foot-9 receivers who look like they will be recording plenty of catches for years to come.

LINCOLN, Neb. - Nebraska sophomore receiver De’Mornay Pierson-El has all the talent in the world, but talent only gets you so far – especially when you are listed at 5-foot-9 on the official roster.

If the All-American returner wants to become a true weapon in the receiving game, Pierson-El will have to become an above-average route-runner.

“We can’t get him taller,” said receiver’s coach Keith Williams. “He’s got good leaping ability – he’s quick. Basically if you are a smaller guy, you got to get open. You got to be open to make it easy on the quarterback and easy on you. You want to try to stay away from challenging balls so to speak.

“He has the quickness and speed to get separation. He just hasn’t perfected route-running – that will help him.”

Williams coached St. Louis Rams wide receiver/returner Devon Wylie at Fresno State and sees a lot of Pierson-El in his former player.

"Short stature, but really quick and great lateral movement,” said Williams, who says the Huskers will use the receiver in various ways.

“His skill-set is so dynamic, he can pretty much do it all.”

Through eight spring practices, the sophomore isn’t the only receiver on the shorter side who looks like he’s carved out a role in the passing game.

Redshirt freshman Glenn Irons (pictured) is also listed at 5-foot-9 and is trying to make an impact around the line of scrimmage on fly-sweeps and screen plays.

“He’s got a lot of the same attributes as DP (De’Mornay Pierson-El). He’s just learning the offense and is still young,” said Williams. “He’s still learning the college game itself, but he’s working hard – he’s eager.”

One of those ways Irons is working hard is in the film room, staying after to watch practice tape.

Irons was actually one of the first Nebraska players to reach out to the new coach. The two had known each other when Williams was at Tulane and the receiver was playing prep ball in New Orleans.

“They came and found me,” said Williams, when talking about Irons and receiver Jariah Tolbert (also from New Orleans). “They saw me in the lunch room and came to sit down with me the very first day.”

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