Puka Nacua isn’t just someone capable of winning over NFL fans of underdog draft picks, as he fell all the way to the fifth round. But the Los Angeles Rams’ rookie wide receiver has a chance to become immensely revered with another demographic — the Polynesian community.
What Nationality Is Puka Nacua? Exploring His Family Roots
Rare that the NFL has seen a dominating wide receiver of Polynesian descent. But Nacua has that opportunity.
MORE: NFL Standings
While Nacua grew up in Utah and attended both Orem High and Brigham Young University, he has West Samoa roots.
Per the Salt Lake Tribune, Nacua’s mother, Penina, and her side of the family hail from West Samoa (maternal grandmother is another West Samoa native).
Nacua’s name also has Samoan meaning — translating to “bulky” or “fat and chubby” because of his physique at birth. But he’s since become a 6’2″ wideout helping reignite the Rams’ offense.
Nacua Once Played in Revered Prep Football Game That Honors Polynesians
At Orem, Nacua earned this title: Utah’s “Mr. Football.”
That was given to him by the Deseret News after breaking single-season state records. He even earned 2018 Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Utah.
And for his efforts, Nacua went on to play in a prestigious bowl game in his prep career: The Polynesian Bowl.
He went on to catch six passes for 93 yards and a tip-toe 29-yard touchdown grab in the game for Team Makai.
Nacua played in a contest that later went on to have future college football stars named Travis Hunter, Troy Franklin, and future San Francisco 49ers Pro Bowl safety Talanoa Hufanga.
Nacua Now With Rams
Nacua was leading the league in receptions before the Sunday Week 3 action.
Now, Keenan Allen of the Los Angeles Chargers is the current leader with 32. Nacua is in a logjam for third with 25 catches — with five other wideouts including Stefon Diggs and Davante Adams currently with that amount of catches.
Nacua, though, hauled in an astonishing 15 catches against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2. And he’s currently averaging more than 12 catches per game.
Another double-digit outing puts him back in the receptions lead.