Pierson-El, who last season returned three punts for touchdowns and led the nation with 596 punt return yards, was selected as Steele's preseason first-team All-American at punt returner. No other Huskers made any of Steele's four preseason All-America teams.
Steele's preseason All-Big Ten teams also go four-deep, and Nebraska occupied nine of the 112 slots on the four teams. Pierson-El took two of them — first-team punt returner and fourth-team wide receiver. No other Huskers made the first team. Other Huskers on the four teams: Wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp (second team); offensive tackle Alex Lewis, defensive tackles Vincent Valentine and Maliek Collins, safety Nate Gerry and punter Sam Foltz (third team); and linebacker David Santos (fourth team).
Defending national champion Ohio State had the most appearances (18) on the All-Big Ten teams, which included two players on Steele's first-team All-America squad, defensive end Joey Bosa and running back Zeke Elliott. Penn State defensive tackle Anthony Zettel also made Steele's first-team All-American list.
Michigan State had 13 appearances on the All-Big Ten teams. Nebraska, Wisconsin and Penn State tied with nine.
Giltner graduate and Iowa senior defensive end Drew Ott made Steele's second team in the Big Ten. Millard West graduate and Stanford sophomore defensive tackle Harrison Phillips made Steele's fourth team in the Pac-12. Millard North graduate and Ohio senior cornerback Devin Bass made Steele's fourth team in the MAC.