Four-star 2019 prospect Puka Nacua opted not to sign a national letter of intent on Wednesday, according to a report by the Deseret News. The USC commit and legitimate Washington target will continue to consider his options.
Puka Nacua is not expected to sign with Washington on Wednesday.
In fact, the consensus four-star wide receiver is not expected to sign with anyone at all.
Nacua — the nation’s leader with 2,336 receiving yards in 2018 — will wait to sign a national letter of intent as he continues to deliberate with his family, according to a report by the Deseret News. A tentative USC commit, Nacua is also considering Washington, Oregon, UCLA and Utah (where his brother, Samson, is a starting wide receiver).
“We need more time to break down the information and talk,” Nacua’s mother, Penina Nacua, said in a text to the Deseret News. “We’ve been too busy and unable to find quality time.”
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The Orem (Utah) High School standout is ranked as a four-star prospect, the No. 8 wide receiver and the No. 48 overall recruit in the 2019 class by 247Sports. He set single-season Utah state records for receiving yards (2,336) and receiving touchdowns (26) in 2018, while also claiming career records for receiving yards (5,226), touchdown catches (58) and receptions (260). Nacua was also named the offensive MVP at the Polynesian Bowl all-star game last month, piling up six catches for 93 yards and a 29-yard score.
The Huskies, meanwhile, signed just one pass-catcher — three-star wide receiver Taj Davis — in December’s early signing period. UW’s need at wide receiver is clear.
But will Nacua ultimately address that need?
“With Puka, they very realistically do have a shot there,” 247Sports National Editor Brandon Huffman told The Times on Tuesday morning. “I’d say that Washington and Oregon are both in a good spot. Obviously Utah, with his brother being there and that being the home school, they’re still involved. And USC and UCLA are still in the mix.
“The fact that he’s never publicly decommitted from USC tells me they still have a puncher’s chance to hold on to him. But I think the visits to Washington last weekend and Oregon this weekend certainly made them both realistic (options).”
Nacua can technically sign a national letter of intent any time between Wednesday and April 1, or he could simply enroll at the college of his choice this summer. If he does sign with UW, Nacua would go down as the Huskies’ most highly ranked signee (provided four-star linebacker Henry To’oto’o doesn’t surprisingly throw on a Husky hat instead of Alabama or Tennessee on Wednesday afternoon).
There’s no doubt new UW wide receivers coach Junior Adams would love to flip Nacua to Washington.
But if he can’t, is the cupboard bare?
“A pickup of Puka would be huge, because it gets them a top-tier player from the state of Utah, where they’ve done really well,” Huffman told The Times last month. “I think he’s a guy who comes in and plays early.
“But if they don’t get him I don’t think it’s the end of the world, just because you’ve got a guy like (redshirt freshman wide receiver) Marquis Spiker. He’s very similar. Ridiculously productive in high school. Record-setting receiver. Maybe he isn’t as dynamic as Puka, but I think he might have a little more consistency to him. Puka really is a spectacular player, but Spiker seems like he’s more of a fit for UW.”