LOCALS IN THE NFL

Rams WR Puka Nacua Breaks Multiple NFL Rookie Records In Week 18

Jan 7, 2024, 4:08 PM | Updated: 4:19 pm

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

Puka Nacua #17 of the Los Angeles Rams warms up before a game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on January 07, 2024 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Former BYU Cougars wide receiver Puka Nacua broke multiple NFL records for a rookie during the regular season finale between the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers.

Puka Nacua breaks NFL records in regular season finale

The 49ers hosted the Rams at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California on Sunday, January 7.

During the Week 18 contest, the Orem High School product continued his impressive rookie campaign by breaking a couple of NFL rookie records.

The first record Nacua set a new mark for was for the most receiving yards by a rookie.

With his third catch of the afternoon, Nacua reached 35 receiving yards for the game. The catch moved him ahead of Bill Groman’s rookie record of 1,473 receiving yards in a single season. Groman set the rookie record for receiving yards in 1960.

Previously, Nacua tied the mark with his second catch of the contest, which was a 19-yard touchdown on the Rams’ opening drive of the game.

With his fourth reception of the game, Nacua surpassed Jaylen Waddle’s previous mark of 104 catches by a rookie in a single season. Waddle set the record in 2021.

Nacua came into the game having recorded 101 receptions for 1,445 yards and five touchdowns this season.

After breaking both records, Nacua exited the game and finished the afternoon with four receptions for 41 yards and a touchdown.

During his rookie campaign, Nacua had already broken multiple NFL records for a first-year player and has seen his Rams jersey become a part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The Rams entered the regular season finale with a 9-7 record and a playoff berth already clinched.

Los Angeles’ game against San Francisco is broadcast on FOX and NFL Sunday Ticket.

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 Threads (@kyleirelandksl), Instagram (@kyleirelandksl). and X (@kyleireland).

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Rams WR Puka Nacua Breaks Multiple NFL Rookie Records In Week 18