Puka Nacua: Proving BYU fans right

BYU fans have known for years what Los Angeles Rams fans are now figuring out two weeks into the 2023 NFL season.

Puka Nacua can flat out play football.

After a heralded but injury-plagued two seasons at BYU the Rams took Nacua in the fifth round of this past April’s draft. Cougar fans around the nation recognized the steal that the Rams had secured, but it only took one week for NFL fans to take notice of the rookie receiver from BYU.

Nacua’s NFL debut was not only impressive, but also historic. In fact, he became only the fourth player in NFL history to record 10 receptions with over 100 yards receiving in their NFL debut. It was an incredible performance by a player that many NFL fans knew next to nothing about just hours before.

To many however, it was more of a feel good anomaly than a sign of a potential star in the making. Nacua, while showing flashes of great ability, was to be no more than a placeholder until All-Pro receiver Cooper Kupp makes his return from injured reserve hopefully within the next three weeks. He then would be relegated to a lesser role in the offense.

These people spoke too soon.

When the final horn sounded on Sunday’s matchup between the 49ers and Rams, Nacua was likely disappointed with his losing 30-23 final score. bit he left millions of fans in awe of his 15 catch 147 yard performance. Along with it came more records. Through two games, no NFL receiver has ever had more receptions than the 25 Nacua has snagged to start a career. In fact, he surpassed the previous record holder Earl Cooper by six receptions.

For a team that just over a week a go was searching desperately for a way to replace their most valuable offensive weapon in Kupp, Nacua has been a resounding answer for the Rams. The 22 year old Orem High School product has been a headache for defenses as they have tried to match up against the athletic rookie.

For BYU fans, Nacua is simply doing what he did for two seasons in Provo. He’s dominating defenses and making himself invaluable to his team. It’s early, but the forecast for Nacua is extremely positive. The world is officially aware of him. Everyone is finally getting to see what BYU fans knew all along.

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