LOCALS IN THE NFL

Rams WR Puka Nacua Breaks NFL Record During Playoff Debut

Jan 14, 2024, 8:58 PM | Updated: 10:04 pm

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

Puka Nacua #17 of the Los Angeles Rams is tackled by Kindle Vildor #29 of the Detroit Lions during the third quarter in the NFC Wild Card Playoffs at Ford Field on January 14, 2024 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

(Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Former BYU Cougars wide receiver Puka Nacua set a new rookie record during the NFL Wild Card playoff game between the Los Angeles Rams and Detroit Lions.

Puka Nacua sets new rookie record during NFC Wild Card game

The Lions hosted the Rams at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan on Sunday, January 14.

During the second half, Nacua hauled in his ninth reception, which moved him to 181 receiving yards on the night. The mark was a new rookie record for receiving yards by a rookie in an NFL playoff game.

The record was previously held by Seattle Seahawks wideout DK Metcalf with 160 yards.

Earlier in the game, Nacua scored a touchdown, his seventh of the season.

With 13:24 remaining in the first half, Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford hit Nacua with a deep pass down the sideline. The former BYU star took it to the house for a 50-yard score and the Rams’ first touchdown.

Nacua’s touchdown cut Detroit’s lead to 14-10.

The score capped a six-play, 72-yard drive that took 3:07.

After the touchdown, Nacua had four receptions for 85 yards and a touchdown.

During the regular season, Nacua recorded 105 catches (ranks ninth in the NFL) for 1,486 yards (fourth in the NFL) and six touchdowns. In Los Angeles’ regular season finale, the Orem High product set new marks for the most receptions and receiving yards in a rookie season.

Los Angeles’ game against Detroit is televised on KSL 5 TV.

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

Kyle Ireland is a Sports Producer and Locals in the NFL Insider for KSLSports.com. Listen to Ireland on Yards After College: An NFL Podcast. Follow him on X (@kyleireland), Threads (@kyleirelandksl), and Instagram (@kyleirelandksl).

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Rams WR Puka Nacua Breaks NFL Record During Playoff Debut