PROVO, Utah – Now that brothers Samson and Puka Nacua are officially members of the BYU football program, everyone can ask what type of impact these guys can make in 2021 and beyond in Provo.
The additions are massive for a BYU offense looking to keep the machine rolling after the departure of quarterback Zach Wilson to the NFL.
Puka Nacua was viewed as a potential No. 1 receiver for Washington, and Samson was a veteran in a Utah receiving room that played in some of the biggest stages the Pac-12 had to offer.
To learn what the Nacua brothers bring to the table for BYU, who better to learn from than themselves? The Nacua’s were on “The Power of Perception” podcast (a show documenting the journey of Polynesian athletes, mentors, and coaches) while members of the University of Washington and the University of Utah, respectively. They discussed each other’s best skills as players.
Samson gave the lowdown on what makes Puka Nacua a rising star in college football.
Samson on what makes Puka Nacua special
“His athletic abilities are a big thing. It runs in our family like a lot of people know. We’re all athletes,” said Samson on Puka Nacua. “But his knowledge is what separates him from being a really good player and a really great player. His knowledge for the game and him always studying and literally, picking up and listening, and being able to take something out from what someone said and try to apply it. Every time he’s getting some new information. That’s what really separates him from even me and my family members; he’s just taken all of the knowledge.”
Then Puka spoke glowingly of older brother Samson Nacua. Like Samson, he focused on the mental side of what makes him a successful player.
Puka on older brother Samson Nacua
“One of his best football talents is his off the field trait,” said Puka on Samson. “I think everybody that knows Samson knows he’s so funny. Every time he’s around everybody –they’re laughing– he always has a smile on his face. And he just seems to be in the moment. Like he’s not thinking about what’s going on outside or what I’m about to do next. If we’re playing basketball, he’s locked into basketball. If we’re talking stories, he’s going to be locked in talking stories and not on his phone. That’s something that I’ve tried to take from his game.
“If I mess up in a play, there’s always the next play. That’s Samson’s mentality. I was always watching him. I dropped a pass right here; I won’t drop the pass the next play. I’m not worried about a mistake that I just had. I’m living in the present, but I’m ready for the future … that’s how I feel like every time I watch him play.”
Both brothers focused on the mental side of their games. They’ll look to take their competitive mentalities inspired by NBA superstar LeBron James and UFC star Connor McGregor and send BYU’s offense to even new heights into the future.
BYU football has a busy WR room in 2021 and beyond
The Nacua brothers join a BYU receiver room that looks to replace future NFL Draft pick, Dax Milne. But the group doesn’t have a shortage of experience. Gunner Romney put up 767 receiving yards in 10 games, and Neil Pau’u added another 603 yards.
Kalani Sitake has never been shy about always staying active on the recruiting trail. If his team can get better out of the transfer portal, he will explore every means possible to make it happen. The Nacua brothers fit the billing of improving the roster.
“We are very excited about the additions of Samson and Puka,” said BYU head coach Kalani Sitake. “They are both experienced and talented receivers and come from an amazing family and a great bloodline of football players to come through BYU. Their character and leadership will be a great asset to our program and university and will add to the great culture that has already been established here at BYU.”
In August, BYU football will open fall camp with the 2021 season opener taking place on September 4th in Las Vegas against the Arizona Wildcats from the Pac-12 Conference.
Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m., KSL Newsradio). Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper and the KSL Sports app.