How 49ers' Warner helped Rams rookie Nacua prepare for NFL originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
And while Nacua has taken the NFL by storm to start his NFL career, Warner has known about the fifth-round draft pick for a while and took to his podcast, The Warner House, to detail the time he let the fellow BYU product pick his brain, in addition to sharing his overall excitement about the rookie sensation.
“[BYU] was playing Stanford last year, and Kalani Sitake, [BYU’s] head coach, asked me to come talk to the team at the team hotel, the Marriott,” Warner said to fellow 49ers linebacker Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles. “Puka came up to me after the team meeting and we were just chopping it up, man. He’s picking my brain about what’s made me have so much success in my career in the NFL so far, things he should be doing off the field. When I was talking to this kid, I was like, ‘Bro, this dude is just dialed in.’ You talk about having the right mindset..”
"He was out there playing like a created player."
Fellow BYU alum @Fred_Warner shows some love for #Rams standout rookie Puka Nacua, and recalls how impressed he was when he met with Nacua at their alma mater in 2022
Full episode of The Warner House » https://t.co/VjVbCaqWz9 pic.twitter.com/M7RpRGI02h
— The 33rd Team (@The33rdTeamFB) September 23, 2023
On the heels of catching 10 passes for 110 yards in his NFL debut against the Seattle Seahawks, Nacua broke the single-game rookie reception record with 15 catches for 147 yards in the Rams’ 30-23 loss to the 49ers in Week 2, in addition to rewriting history in other areas.
No player in NFL history has caught more passes in the first two games of their NFL career than #Rams WR Puka Nacua, who has caught 25 passes.
The previous record was 19.
Pacua is also the first player NFL history to have 10 catches and 100+ yards in each of his first 2 games. pic.twitter.com/uArRVfWynI
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) September 18, 2023
Warner, a proud BYU alumni who graduated in 2017, added that he knew Nacua was a stud as a member of the Cougars and wasn’t surprised his excellent collegiate play translated to the NFL.
“Of course, a BYU product, Puka Nacua, younger brother of Kai Nacua, who I played with at BYU and who played for us with the 49ers, got drafted in the fifth-round to the LA Rams,” Warner said. “I’ve kept track of his career with BYU, and the kid was a baller. Like, the dude did it all, made the crazy catches, run after catch, the physicality, jet sweeps.”
The two-time All-Pro raved about the noise that surrounded Nacua’s strong training camp and regular-season debut in Seattle against the Seahawks, but rolled his eyes at the thought of the rookie’s historic performance against the 49ers.
It’s clear Warner has a lot of respect for Nacua, and the two likely will face each other for a long time as NFL West foes.
Warner and the 49ers’ defense will look to do a better job of containing the rookie during his first professional trip to Levi’s Stadium in Week 18.