Puka Nacua is a skilled wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL). He currently plays for the Los Angeles Rams.
He first got to the NFL through college football, where he played at two well-known schools, Washington and BYU.
He was born on May 29, 2001, in Provo, Utah, and went to Orem High School in Orem, Utah, where he made a name for himself on the football field.
Nacua had amazing numbers in high school. He caught 260 passes, gained 5,226 yards, and scored 58 touchdowns as a receiver, all of which are now Utah state records.
Who is Puka Nacua?
Puka Nacua is a wide receiver who currently plays for the Los Angeles Rams. He joined the Rams in 2023 when they selected him as the 177th overall pick in the fifth round of the NFL Draft.
Before his professional career, Nacua showcased his football skills in college, playing for both Washington and BYU. In 2022, while with the BYU Cougars, he had an impressive season, starting seven out of nine games.
During that season, he caught 48 passes for a total of 625 yards and scored five touchdowns. In addition to his receiving prowess, Nacua also displayed versatility by carrying the ball 25 times for 209 yards, resulting in five more touchdowns.
Interestingly, Nacua’s real name is Makea Nacua, but he is widely known by his nickname “Puka.” He earned this moniker due to his appearance as a baby, which, in Samoan, translates to “fat and chubby.”
Despite slimming down as he grew older, the nickname “Puka” stuck with him, and it’s how most people still refer to him today. Notably, Puka Nacua comes from a football-loving family, as his younger brother, Samson, is also involved in the sport. Samson plays for the Pittsburgh Maulers in the United States Football League (USFL), continuing the Nacua family’s football legacy.
Puka Nacua’s Net Worth
NFL wide receiver Puka Nacua has an estimated net worth of about $1 million in 2023. Just getting started to his professional career, Nacua has just started his first season in the league. The rookie WR is currently on a four-year deal with the Los Angeles Rams worth over $4 million.
Already a well-known college athlete before stepping into the NFL, Nacua had already signed NIL deals prior to his professional career. His endorsement deals with JAM skateboard, Nutricost, and Murdock Hyundai Lindon showcasing his rise as a promising individual in the world of sports.
Who are Puka Nacua’s Parents?
Puka Nacua comes from a family with roots in the rich culture of Samoa. His parents, Lionel Nacua and Penina Nacua, are very important in his life.
Lionel and Penina Nacua have had a big impact on their son’s life and helped him build the foundations for his success.
Their culture, which is based on Samoan traditions and values, has probably had a big impact on how Puka was raised and how he sees the world.
Nacua’s journey through college football began at the University of Washington. Before he got hurt and missed the rest of the season, he showed off his skills as a freshman by playing in all eight games and catching seven passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns.
During his sophomore year, he helped out by catching nine passes for 151 yards and one touchdown, even though the 2020 season was cut short because of COVID-19. After this season, he went through the NCAA transfer portal, which was a big step in his college career.
The next stop on Puka Nacua’s college football journey was Brigham Young University (BYU), where he played for the 2021 season.
During his first season with BYU, he continued to shine, catching 40 passes for 805 yards and six touchdowns. This made him an even more dynamic and versatile receiver on the field.
Scouts from the NFL were impressed by Nacua’s football skills, and the Los Angeles Rams picked him in the fifth round, 177th overall, of the 2023 NFL Draught.
His journey in the NFL began with a great first game as a starter for the Rams on September 10, 2023, in Seattle against their rivals, the Seattle Seahawks.
Even though the Seahawks were heavy favorites and the Rams were coming off a season full of injuries in 2022, Nacua made an immediate impact and helped the Rams’ offence a lot. The Rams won 30–13 because he caught 10 passes for 119 yards, which was a key part of their victory.
When Nacua played in his second NFL game, he broke the record for most catches by a rookie in a single game. In a close game against the San Francisco 49ers that the Ravens lost 30–23, he caught 15 passes for 147 yards.
His 25 catches in his first two games also broke Earl Cooper’s 43-year-old record for most catches by a rookie.
Nacua also made history by being the first player in NFL history to have more than 10 catches and more than 100 receiving yards in each of his first two games.
Puka Nacua comes from a family that loves football. His older brother Samson is also trying to become a wide receiver. Samson moved from the University of Utah to BYU around the same time that Puka moved from Washington.
Kai Nacua, another older brother, became famous as a defensive back at BYU and also played in the NFL for a while. Kai plays football for the Michigan Panthers in the US Football League right now.
Dana White III, the son of UFC CEO and President Dana White, played Pop Warner football with Puka Nacua when he was younger, which is an interesting fact.
The Nacua and White families became close and have stayed close because of this connection. Dana White Jr. actively supports Puka on social media.