LOCALS IN THE NFL

Los Angeles Rams WR Puka Nacua Shines In NFL Debut

Sep 10, 2023, 5:58 PM | Updated: 6:01 pm

Puka-Nacua-Los-Angeles-Rams-NFL...

Puka Nacua #17 of the Los Angeles Rams celebrates during the first half against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field on September 10, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Former Orem High and BYU Cougars wide receiver Puka Nacua dazzled in his NFL debut as the Los Angeles Rams defeated the Seattle Seahawks to open the 2023 season.

The Seahawks hosted the Rams at Lumen Field in Seattle, Washington on Sunday, September 10.

RELATED: Rams WR Puka Nacua Finds End Zone In NFL Preseason Debut

It was Nacua’s first NFL regular season game and the former BYU star shined as a member of the Rams’ offense.

Nacua helped the Rams defeat the division rival Seahawks on their home field, 30-13.

The rookie recorded 10 receptions for 119 yards on a team-high 15 targets.

With the performance, Nacua became the fourth player in NFL history to have such a stat line in their first career game, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

Nacua also “recorded the most receiving yards in a rookie debut in Rams history. He is the 2nd player drafted in the 5th round or later with 100+ receiving yards in his NFL debut,” according to the Rams PR.

The Rams’ next game is at home against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, September 17 at 2:05 p.m. (MDT) on FOX.

About Puka Nacua

Before his college career, the Provo, Utah native played high school football at Orem High School. He finished his career with the Tigers as the owner of multiple state records.

Nacua helped the Tigers win back-to-back 4A state titles in 2017 and 2018.

After high school, the receiver attended the University of Washington and played a couple of seasons for the Huskies.

During his two years in Seattle, Nacua had 16 catches for 319 yards and three touchdowns.

After the 2020 season, Nacua returned home to Provo and transferred to BYU. He immediately became a star for the Cougars.

In 2021, Nacua hauled in 43 receptions for 805 yards and six touchdowns. Despite battling injuries last season, Nacua recorded 48 catches for 625 yards and five touchdowns in 2022. He also ran for 209 yards and five touchdowns in his final season at BYU.

Nacua finished his BYU career with a total of 91 catches for 1,430 yards and 11 touchdowns as a receiver. He added 39 carries for 357 yards and five touchdowns with his legs.

In April, the Rams selected Nacua with the No. 177 overall pick during the fifth round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Kyle Ireland is a Sports Producer and Locals in the NFL Insider for KSLSports.com. He’s also co-host of the Yards After College Podcast. Follow him on X/Twitter (@kyleireland), Instagram (@kyleirelandksl), and Threads (@kyleirelandksl).

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Los Angeles Rams WR Puka Nacua Shines In NFL Debut