Junior defensive end Randy Gregory and freshman wide receiver/punt returner De’Mornay Pierson-El were both named second-team All-Americans by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).
Nebraska had a pair of players selected to the FWAA All-America teams for the first time since 1997, when three Huskers were honored. The FWAA has released its All-America teams for 71 seasons and Pierson-El is the first Husker freshman to be recognized by the organization. Overall, Pierson-El is just the second Nebraska underclassmen to earn FWAA All-America honors, joining halfback Bobby Reynolds, who was a first-team selection as a sophomore in 1950. Pierson-El and Oklahoma running back Samaje Perine were the only two freshmen named an FWAA All-American.
Pierson-El earned a spot as the second-team punt returner after leading the nation with 589 punt return yards, more than 200 yards higher than any other player in the nation. He returned three punts for a touchdown, which tied for the national lead. Pierson-El was also named a second-team All-American by USA Today, in addition to earning freshman All-America accolades from several organizations.
A two-time All-Big Ten selection, Gregory was honored by the FWAA one day after garnering third-team All-America accolades from the Associated Press. Despite battling injuries throughout his junior campaign, Gregory totaled 50 tackles, including 7.0 sacks and 10 tackles for loss. He also blocked two field goals, broke up three passes and had an interception while becoming Nebraska’s first two-time all-conference defensive lineman since Ndamukong Suh.