From Nebraska media relations department
Nebraska wide receiver De’Mornay Pierson-El was named to the Paul Hornung Award watch list announced Monday morning.
The Hornung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse, is given annually to the most versatile player in major college football by the Louisville Sports Commission and football legend and Louisville native Paul Hornung.
As a freshman, Pierson-El ranked second nationally in punt returns, averaging 17.5 yards per return to garner second-team All-America honors. He led the country with 596 return years and tied for the national lead with three punt returns for scores. He was a two-time Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week and won the Jet Award for the returner of the year.
In addition to his punt return exploits, Pierson-El caught 23 passes for 321 yards and four scores, culminating in an eight-catch, 102-yard performance in the Holiday Bowl against USC, setting a school bowl record for catches in a game. Pierson-El also threw a touchdown pass against Northwestern in 2014.
Pierson-El is one of seven Big Ten players in the initial 44-player watch list.
Former Husker I-back Ameer Abdullah was a finalist for the award in 2014.