Puka Nacua didn’t make it to the Super Bowl in his first season in the NFL with the L.A. Rams, but his experience has been unlike any other rookie in the modern era, if not ever. The fifth round pick out of BYU set rookie records for catches and yards, which he credits to his “fearlessness” as a big, fast receiver who is willing to go to battle with the league’s best defensive players. That includes San Francisco 49ers linebacker Fred Warner, who is playing in the Super Bowl on Sunday, as Puka notes that unlike most people he’s not as afraid of him due to their past.
Puka’s older brother Kai Nacua played defense BYU from 2013-2016, overlapping with Warner’s time at BYU from 2014-2017. Kai was a start player at BYU, recording 14 interceptions over his last three seasons with the Cougars. Puka says that he doesn’t just know him as Fred Warner like most people, but “as little Fred” as he noted in an interview with the NBC Sports fantasy crew at the Super Bowl.
As for his immediate and unexpected success, Nacua called his rookie season “surreal” and a “dream come true”. In addition to going against Warner twice per year, Puka notes being a fan of Jaire Alexander and then all of a sudden he’s going against him at Lambeau Field and he can’t believe that he’s actually here.
No matter which Pro Bowl or All-Pro defensive player you name, Puka Nacua has proven to be a fearless receiver. Nobody will call him “Little Puka”.