Orem High School (UT) athlete Puka Nacua has family connections to BYU and is enjoying the recruiting attention he's receiving

Orem High School two-way athlete Puka Nacua is a rising star in Utah Valley both as a wide receiver and defensive back. His older brother, Kai Nacua, is among the tops in the nation in interceptions. Currently, Puka holds a BYU offer and places the Cougar among the top schools on his list.

Kai Nacua has made a big time name for himself at BYU. His younger brother, Puka Nacua, a 6-2, 180-pound sophomore at Orem High School, could follow in his footsteps keeping the Nacua name firmly in BYU’s defensive backfield for years to come.

“Yeah, BYU is actually showing me a lot of love, and my brother (Kai) is doing really well over there so they’ve been showing me a lot of love,” Puka Nacua said. “I really like what they’ve got going on over there at BYU. Seeing the way Coach Sitake was fighting for his players during the Utah game really showed the love he has for the kids. My brother told me that the locker room has really changed since [Kalani] Sitake has become BYU’s head coach. He told me that everyone is really dialed in for Sitake and that he’s all in for him.”

BYU beat Cincinnati 20-3 last week and will host Southern Utah this Saturday (1 PM on BYUtv & ESPN3.com). Puka Nacua knows that BYU played a tough schedule and lost a few games by a close margin not causing any worry about the future of the program.

“BYU has played some tough teams this year,” he said. “They could have won any one of them. People are saying, ‘Oh Michigan State and Mississippi State are having down years and this and that’ but they’re still Big 10 and SEC teams and BYU is Independent,” said Nacua. “You can’t deny the wins they’ve got and the numbers they’ve put up against all these teams.”

Big brother Kai has shown little brother Puka his cards and has no problem in expressing where he believes his little brother should play football.

“Kai does say things to me every once in a while, and he’ll talk to me about BYU,” said Puka Nacua. “He’ll tell me, because the coaches always talk to him about it, that BYU really wants me there. I’ll see the coaches every once in awhile and they’ll tell me, ‘You see what we’ve got out here. You know what we’ve got going on.’ They’ve treated me really good and it will be a decision sooner or later.”

So, will a final decision come sooner rather than later?

“Maybe, yeah!” he said with a smile. “We’ll see.”

Not only does big brother Kai express his wishes to his younger brother about following him to BYU, but he also gives him advice on how to be a better free safety.

“Yeah, because the last couple of games in the regular season I was playing safety,” Nacua said. “He told me that the step from high school to college is huge. He told me, ‘If you realize the little things can make all the difference.’ He told me, ‘I’m not the best at reading but I always but myself in the best spot to make a play.’ He also told me to go watch the Michigan State receivers and see how they run their routes. He also told me to watch film on BYU’s receivers as well, so I like to do that and will watch how BYU’s receivers run.”

Puka Nacua admitted he attends all BYU home games to watch his ball-hawk brother roam the backfield at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Young Nacua is a fan of BYU.

“I go to all the home games and went to the Arizona game with my mom, [Penina Nacua], and that was really awesome because there were so many BYU fans there,” recalled Nacua. “It is really cool how BYU’s student section always come out to support and how loud LaVell Edwards Stadium gets. The homecoming game was intense and I love the crowd over there. No matter what they’re always cheering the team on over there at Lavell Edwards Stadium.”


“BYU, is pretty high on my list, yeah,” Nacua said. “I really like BYU.”

Puka’s other brother, Isaiah, will join BYU’s football team soon as well making another Nacua on the roster after Kai Nacua graduates this season.

“Yeah, my brother Isaiah is going there too,” Puka Nacua said.

So could Puka Nacua follow in older brother Kai and Isaiah’s footsteps to BYU?

“We’ll see,” Puka Nacua said with a smile. “Maybe, we’ll see.”


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