player to watch

De’Mornay Pierson-El - Football

You had to see this name coming, right?

After a huge freshman year, expect Pierson-El to take an even heavier role in the Husker offense.

Pierson-El was a special teams pundit in his freshman year. He returned three punts for touchdowns and was tied for second nationally in punt return average at 17.5 yards per return. He was on almost every single freshman All-American team, and was a USA Today second-team All-American.

Toward the end of the season in 2014, Pierson-El made an impact on offense that will have to carry into next year. Last year he caught 23 passes for 321 yards and four touchdowns. Out of the 23 catches, 17 of them came in the final four games. Against University of Southern California in the Holiday Bowl, Pierson-El caught eight passes for 102 yards and a touchdown.

He will be part of a group of receivers who will largely be a question mark going in to the 2015-2016 season.

Andrew White III - Men’s Basketball

It has been quite the offseason already for the Nebraska men’s basketball team. With all of the announcements of players leaving, the state of Husker basketball is in question heading into 2015.

Andrew White III, a transfer from Kansas, is a player to watch this year after sitting out in 2014-2015. After two years at KU and a year out, White’s first game as a Husker will be played as a senior.

White was held to very limited playing time as a Jayhawk, but still impressed people as a long guard who could shoot the three at a high clip. He was also a highly touted high school prospect, scoring 22 points per game and averaging 10 rebounds. Coach Tim Miles said he sees White as a guy with NBA potential, who can be an impact player for the Huskers.

White remains somewhat of an unknown commodity for Husker fans, but his experience at a big name program is definitely enough to intrigue.

MJ Knighten - Softball

Nebraska softball third baseman MJ Knighten had a breakout sophomore season for the Huskers in 2015, and earned first-team All-Big Ten honors.

Knighten was a unanimous selection to the All-Big Ten team, after having one of the best season at the plate in Husker history. She finished second in the conference with a .475 batting average and 38 hits in conference play. She led the Big Ten with 76 hits on the season, and has the third highest batting average in Husker history at .427. She has also driven in 57 runs which is eighth in Nebraska softball history.

Knighten led a young Nebraska squad this year, and will look to continue that next season for the Huskers who will likely be a national contender in 2015-2016.

Jess Shepard - Women’s Basketball

Jess Shepard is a baller, and despite tearing her ACL in December, she is still going to be a name to remember as the Nebraska women’s basketball team enters the 2015-2016 campaign.

Shepard comes to Nebraska after enjoying one of the most illustrious high school careers in Nebraska high school basketball history. Shepard is the highest-ranked recruit the Huskers have ever landed, coming in as the No. 3 overall player in the nation, and the No. 1 post player.

Shepard played for the USA U-18 national team in 2014, and earned her third straight Gatorade National Player of the Year award in 2015.

Shepard broke the Nebraska class A single-season scoring record in 2014 scoring 30.4 points per game. In 2015, it was rare to see Shepard with numbers less than a double-double, and in the nine games she played in, she averaged 33.8 points.

Husker coach Connie Yori offered Shepard a scholarship when she was just a freshman at Fremont High School, the youngest player Yori has ever offered.