LOCALS IN THE NFL

Rams WR Puka Nacua Officially Named Finalist For Rookie Of Year Award

Jan 25, 2024, 5:35 PM

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Puka Nacua #17 of the Los Angeles Rams reacts after a first down during the first quarter o a game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on October 29, 2023 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Former BYU Cougars and current Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Puka Nacua received the honor of officially being named a finalist for the NFL‘s Offensive Rookie of the Year award for the 2023 season.

Puka Nacua named OROY finalist

The NFL revealed the finalists for the league’s awards on Thursday, January 25.

Nacua was one of five players named a finalist for the AP Offensive of the Year. Along with Nacua, Jahmyr Gibbs (Running Back – Detroit Lions), Sam LaPorta (Tight End – Detroit Lions), Bijan Robinson (Running Back – Atlanta Falcons), and C.J. Stroud (Quarterback – Houston Texans) were named finalists for the honor.

Nacua and Stroud are projected by many NFL experts as the top two players up for the award with the ultimate nod leaning toward the Texans’ signal-caller.

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

RELATED: Rams WR Puka Nacua Breaks NFL Record During Playoff Debut 

Nacua finished his first season as a professional with an NFL rookie record 105 receptions for 1,486 yards. He also scored six touchdowns.

The former BYU standout set new NFL marks during the first games of his professional career through the final week of the regular season and into the playoffs.

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.

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 Officially Named Finalist For Rookie Of Year Award