After playing in all 13 games as a freshman in 2014, junior wide receiver De’Mornay Pierson-El dealt with foot and knee injuries in 2015, limiting him to five games. Pierson-El is a threat as a receiver as well as a punt returner. He totaled eight touchdowns in his first 18 games at Nebraska, but has yet to score this season as he continues to get more comfortable on the field.
Q: Are you at 100 percent?
A: Physically, yes, and mentally, it’s about there, still getting back. Each game, I feel I’m getting closer and closer. I feel like there’s something missing still. It’s a few steps or a few moments from clicking, and I’ll just go out there and go.
Q: Are you getting eager for that first touchdown?
A: That comes with it, but I know my opportunity is coming. I just got to be in the right state of mind, and when my opportunity presents itself, just attack it with everything I got.
Q: What’s your chemistry like with Tommy Armstrong? How would you describe it?
A: It’s good and everything like that, but, I mean, we’re still working on that. I think everybody has just gotten more reps since me being hurt. But, I mean, it grows each and every week. I think we take strides, the confidence there. He knows I’m going to catch it, he knows I’m going to be in the right spot. Run blocking, he knows I’m gonna get the right guy and seal the edge.
Q: How important has that been for the success of the offense?
A: It’s very important. Period. You have to trust in the quarterback and the quarterback has to trust in you. If you don’t have no trust, I mean, you don’t have too much of anything. We’ve been working hard in the offseason, he’s seen that and he knows the ability that everybody brings to the table and he knows how to get it out of everybody. He’s just making sure that you are reliable and being there at the right time.
Q: Do you feel it is important to have a balanced offense — to have the run game going and also have the pass?
A: I feel like it’s very important, because the run opens up the pass and the pass can open up the run. So they go off each other, they go hand in hand.
Q: Last year, the offense was pass-heavy, and now it’s nearly even as far as yardage. What adjustments did you have to make personally with helping out with that?
A: For the most part, it’s just going out there and understanding that sometimes it won’t be an all-pass game and that we still have a job to do. We’re not just receivers going out there to catch the ball, we have to block a certain way, and that’s just the mentality that we have to bring to the room.