Defensive back Kai Nacua named national defensive player of the week

Ari Davis
Kai Nacua celebrates after getting a pick 6 in the last seconds of the game to secure the win in the game against BSU. Nacua was named AutoNation’s National Defensive Player of the Week. (Ari Davis)

Junior defensive back Kai Nacua earned AutoNation National Defensive Player of the Week honors following the Cougars 35-24 victory over No. 20 Boise State.

“Its great to have Kai Nacua back. He changed the game,” BYU Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall said.

Nacua added five tackles and three interceptions against Boise with the last interception being returned for the winning touchdown. The last player to tally three interceptions in BYU history was Tyson Smith in 2000.

Nacua played his first game of the season Saturday night after sitting out against Nebraska due to a one-game suspension. He was a force on the field and stepped up to make crucial plays in stopping the Broncos offense.

“The range he covers and the plays he makes, that’s really who he is. I’m really excited for him, regarding all the scrutiny he’s been under,” Mendenhall said. “For him to be able to come out and play that way, it’s fitting. It shows who he is and how he’s worked so hard to be back on our team.”

Nacua recorded 40 total tackles and two interceptions in 13 games played in the 2014 season. His best game was against Idaho State in which he had six total tackles. Nacua had more interceptions in the win against Boise than he had all last season.

AutoNation will donate $1,000 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation in Nacua’s name as part of their charitable work.

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