Mohamed Sanu

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Mohamed Sanu Sr.
refer to caption
Sanu with the Falcons in 2018
No. 14 – New England Patriots
Position:Wide receiver
Personal information
Born: (1989-08-22) August 22, 1989 (age 30)
New Brunswick, New Jersey
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High school:South Brunswick
(Monmouth Junction, New Jersey)
College:Rutgers
NFL Draft:2012 / Round: 3 / Pick: 83
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
  • First-team All-Big East (2011)
Career NFL statistics as of 2019
Receptions:403
Receiving yards:4,507
Receiving touchdowns:26
Rushing yards:223
Rushing touchdowns:2
Passing yards:233
Passing touchdowns:4
Player stats at NFL.com

Mohamed Sanu Sr. (born August 22, 1989) is an American football wide receiver for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft and played college football at Rutgers. He played for the Bengals from 2012 until 2015, and the Atlanta Falcons from 2015 until 2019. The Falcons traded him to the Patriots in exchange for a second round draft pick in October 2019.

Early life[edit]

Originally from Sayreville, New Jersey, Sanu was born to a Muslim family and also lived in his parents' native Sierra Leone as a child.[1] Sanu returned to the United States and lived in Dayton, New Jersey, where he eventually starred at South Brunswick High School as a triple option quarterback before enrolling at Rutgers University in 2009.[2] In his final season at South Brunswick High School, Sanu led the Vikings to their first playoff berth in nearly 40 years, including three rushing touchdowns of at least 80 yards against Edison High School.[3]

He was ruled ineligible to play during his senior year, due to exceeding NJSIAA's age restriction; he graduated from high school six months early and enrolled at Rutgers University in January 2009.[4] In track & field, Sanu was one of the state's top performers in the jumping events. At the 2008 NJSIAA Sectional Championships, he placed 2nd in the triple jump (14.08 m) and 3rd in the long jump (6.43 meters). He also competed as a sprinter, recording personal-best times of 6.94 seconds in the 55 metres and 24.28 seconds in the 200 meters at the 2008 Merli Invitational.[5] He is a fan of soccer, and supports West Ham United.[6]

College career[edit]

As a true freshman wide receiver Sanu had 51 receptions for 639 yards and three touchdowns; he also ran 62 times for 346 yards and five touchdowns out of the Wildcat formation.[7] Sanu was the first-ever true freshman to start at wide receiver for Rutgers under coach Greg Schiano, and won Most Valuable Player honors at the 2009 St. Petersburg Bowl. In 2010, Sanu was a consensus preseason All-Big East wide receiver. In 2011 he tied a Big East record with 13 receptions against North Carolina.[8] The next week, he broke his own record by catching 16 passes.[9] In 2011, Sanu broke the Big East single-season reception record with 115 receptions for 1,206 yards, a record previously held by Pitt's Larry Fitzgerald.[10]

In his three seasons at Rutgers, Sanu caught 210 passes for 2,263 yards and 19 touchdowns, and gained 3,019 all-purpose yards. He also completed eight of 18 passes for 207 yards and four touchdowns.[11]

Statistics[edit]

Mohamed Sanu Receiving Rushing Scrimmage
Year Team Games Rec Yds Avg TDs Att Yds Avg Tds Tch Yds Avg Tds
2009 Rutgers 13 51 639 12.5 3 62 346 5.6 5 113 985 8.7 8
2010 Rutgers 12 44 418 9.5 2 59 309 5.2 4 103 727 7.1 6
2011 Rutgers 13 115 1206 10.5 7 4 −2 −0.5 0 119 1204 10.1 7
Total 38 210 2263 10.8 12 125 653 5.2 9 335 2916 8.7 21

Professional career[edit]

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
6 ft 1 12 in
(1.87 m)
211 lb
(96 kg)
33 12 in
(0.85 m)
10 18 in
(0.26 m)
4.67 s 1.59 s 2.62 s 4.22 s 6.88 s 36 in
(0.91 m)
10 ft 6 in
(3.20 m)
19 reps
All values from NFL Combine

Cincinnati Bengals[edit]

The Cincinnati Bengals selected Sanu in the third round (83rd overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft, the 12th wide receiver taken in 2012. He signed a four-year, $2.71 million contract with them that included a signing bonus of $563,252.[12][13]

Mohamed Sanu in 2012

2012 season: Rookie year[edit]

On September 23, 2012, against the Washington Redskins, Sanu came in as the wildcat quarterback out of a shotgun formation for the Bengals on the first play from scrimmage of the game, and threw a 73-yard touchdown pass to A. J. Green. This not only made him the first Bengals wide receiver ever to throw a touchdown pass, it gave him a touchdown pass before his first NFL reception.[14]

Sanu had his first touchdown catch during Week 10 against the New York Giants. He finished the game with four receptions for 47 yards.[15] During Week 12 against the Oakland Raiders, he had five receptions for 29 yards and two touchdowns in the 34–10 victory for his first NFL game with multiple touchdowns.[16] On November 30, 2012, it was announced that Sanu had season-ending surgery to repair a stress fracture.[17]

2013 season[edit]

Sanu with the Bengals in 2013

Sanu played in all 16 games of the 2013 NFL season, finishing with 47 receptions, 455 yards, and 2 touchdowns.[18][19]

The Bengals finished with an 11–5 record and finished atop the AFC North.[20] In the Wild Card Round against the San Diego Chargers, his playoff debut, he had a 13-yard reception in a 27–10 loss.[21]

2014 season[edit]

In the 2014 season, Sanu played a much bigger role in the Bengals offense due to injuries to receivers A. J. Green and Marvin Jones. Sanu recorded two 100-yard games in 2014.[22] During Week 2, he recorded a career-long 76-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Andy Dalton in the 24–10 victory over the Atlanta Falcons.[23] In the next game against the Tennessee Titans, Sanu threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Dalton in the 33–7 victory.[24]

It was Sanu's fourth completion of his career on four passing attempts and second touchdown pass of his career. In Week 6 he had a career-high 10 receptions against the Carolina Panthers, for 120 yards and a touchdown in a 37–37 tie.[25] During Week 8 against the Baltimore Ravens, he had five receptions for a career-high 125 yards in the 27–24 victory.[26]

The Bengals returned to the playoffs with a 10–5–1 record.[27] In the Wild Card Round against the Indianapolis Colts, he had three receptions for 31 receiving yards on seven targets in the 26–10 loss.[28]

2015 season[edit]

In the 2015 season Sanu had 33 receptions for 394 yards.[29] In Week 9 he scored his first NFL rushing touchdown on a 25-yard reverse against the Cleveland Browns.[30] The Bengals finished with a 12–4 record and finished atop the AFC North.[31] In the Wild Card Round against the Pittsburgh Steelers, he had three receptions for 17 receiving yards in the 18–16 loss.[32]

Atlanta Falcons[edit]

On March 10, 2016, Sanu signed a five-year, $32.5 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons.[33]

2016 season[edit]

In his Falcons debut against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers he had five receptions for 80 yards, a touchdown, and a two-point conversion in the 31–24 loss.[34] He finished the regular season with 59 receptions for 653 yards and four touchdowns.[35]

The Falcons finished atop the NFC South and reached the playoffs with an 11–5 record.[36] In the Divisional Round against the Seattle Seahawks he had four receptions for 44 yards and a touchdown in the 36–20 victory.[37] In the NFC Championship against the Green Bay Packers he finished with five receptions for 52 yards and a touchdown in the final NFL Game in the Georgia Dome.[38] The Falcons reached Super Bowl LI, playing against the New England Patriots. Sanu had two receptions for 25 yards in the 34–28 overtime defeat.[39][40][41]

2017 season[edit]

During Week 2, Sanu had a season-high 85 receiving yards in a 34–23 victory over the Green Bay Packers.[42] During Week 12, Sanu threw a 51-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Julio Jones in a 34–20 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.[43] Sanu finished the 2017 season with 67 receptions for 703 yards and five touchdowns.[44] The Falcons posted a 10–6 record and qualified for the playoffs.[45] In the Wild Card Round against the Los Angeles Rams he had four receptions for 75 yards in a 26–13 victory.[46] In the Divisional Round he had three receptions for 50 yards in a 15–10 loss to the eventual Super Bowl LII champion Philadelphia Eagles.[47]

2018 season[edit]

Sanu and Josh Norman in a game against the Washington Redskins in 2018

After a relatively slow start to the 2018 season, Sanu had six receptions for 111 yards in a Week 4 37–36 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.[48] During Week 17, Sanu threw a five-yard touchdown pass to quarterback Matt Ryan against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the fourth of Sanu's career.[49]

Sanu finished the 2018 season with a 66 receptions, four touchdowns, and a career-high 838 receiving yards.[50]

2019 season[edit]

In Week 4 against the Tennessee Titans, Sanu had 9 receptions for a season-high 91 receiving yards.[51] In Week 5 against the Houston Texans, Sanu had 5 receptions for 42 yards and his first receiving touchdown of the season.[52]

Sanu had 33 receptions, 313 receiving yards, and a touchdown with the Falcons before being traded to the New England Patriots.[53]

New England Patriots[edit]

2019 season[edit]

On October 22, 2019, Sanu was traded to the New England Patriots in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.[54]

On October 27, 2019, in his Patriots debut, against the Cleveland Browns, Sanu had two receptions on two targets for 23 yards.[55] In Week 9 against the Baltimore Ravens, Sanu had a season-high 10 receptions for 81 yards and a touchdown in the 37–20 loss.[56] In the Wild Card Round against the Tennessee Titans, he had only one reception for 11 yards in the 20–13 loss.[57]

Sanu had 26 receptions, 207 receiving yards, and a touchdown with the Patriots.[58]

NFL statistics[edit]

Season Team Games Receiving Passing Fumbles
GP GS Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD Int Rating FUM Lost
2012 CIN 9 3 16 154 9.6 34 4 1 1 100% 73 1 0 158.3 0 0
2013 CIN 16 14 47 455 9.7 32 3 1 1 100% 25 0 0 118.7 1 1
2014 CIN 16 13 56 790 14.1 76 5 3 3 100% 79 1 0 158.3 0 0
2015 CIN 16 4 33 394 11.9 52 0 2 2
2016 ATL 15 15 59 653 11.1 59 4 0 0
2017 ATL 15 15 67 703 10.5 25 5 1 1 100% 51 1 0 158.3 1 0
2018 ATL 16 16 66 838 12.7 44 4 1 2 50% 5 1 0 95.8 2 1
2019 ATL 7 6 33 313 9.5 28 1 0 0
NE 8 6 26 207 8.0 19 1 0 0
Total 118 92 403 4,507 11.2 76 26 7 8 87.5% 233 4 0 158.3 6 4

Personal life[edit]

In 2014, Sanu partnered a venture with Fantex, Inc., in which Fantex offered an IPO of tracking stock based upon Sanu's future earnings in return for giving Fantex a 10% share of future earnings from his brand.[59] The offering was completed in November 2014, in which 164,300 shares were sold at $10 per share.[60]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Freshman Mohamed Sanu does a lot of everything for Rutgers Scarlet Knights". Tampa Bay Times. Archived from the original on May 28, 2012. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
  2. ^ Pelzman, J. P. "Falcons' Sanu still giving back to South Brunswick". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  3. ^ Morrison, Jay. "Bio for Bengals’ third-round pick Mohamed Sanu" Archived February 22, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, Dayton Daily News, April 27, 2012. Accessed March 29, 2013. "In his final season at South Brunswick, Sanu led the Vikings to their first playoff berth in nearly forty years, including three rushing touchdowns of at least 80 yards vs. Edison High School."
  4. ^ Allinder, Jimmy. "Sanu leaving his mark on Rutgers football", Sentinel, October 13, 2010. Accessed March 29, 2013. "Sanu is hoping for more of the same success that enabled his high school team to finish 9–2 in 2008, his final season. Because he turned 19 in his senior year, the NJSIAA declared him ineligible to play that year."
  5. ^ "Mohamed Sanu – Stats". NJ MileSplit.
  6. ^ Gibson, Sean (March 14, 2016). "Why did this NFL star propose to his girlfriend during the Capital One Cup final?". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  7. ^ "Mohamed Sanu 2009 Game Log". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  8. ^ "Rutgers at North Carolina Box Score, September 10, 2011". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  9. ^ "Ohio at Rutgers Box Score, September 24, 2011". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  10. ^ Caldwell, Dave (November 18, 2011). "Rutgers's Sanu, Converted to a Receiver, Is Breaking Records". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  11. ^ "Mohamed Sanu Career Game Log". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  12. ^ "Mohamed Sanu signs with Bengals, agent says". nfl.com. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  13. ^ "Spotrac.com: Mohamed Sanu contract". Spotrac.com. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
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  17. ^ Brown, Clifton (November 30, 2012). "Bengals WR Mohamed Sanu to have foot surgery, likely out for season". Sporting News. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  18. ^ Hanzus, Dan. "Mohamed Sanu's season could end with stress fracture". NFL.com. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  19. ^ Katzowitz, Josh. "Bengals place WR Mohamed Sanu (foot) on IR". CBSSports.com. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
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  24. ^ "Tennessee Titans at Cincinnati Bengals – September 21st, 2014". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
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  31. ^ "2015 Cincinnati Bengals Statistics & Players". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  32. ^ "Wild Card – Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals – January 9th, 2016". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  33. ^ "Falcons Agree to Terms With WR Sanu". Atlanta Falcons. Archived from the original on August 7, 2017.
  34. ^ "Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons – September 11th, 2016". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
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  37. ^ "Divisional Round – Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons – January 14th, 2017". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
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  41. ^ Chadiha, Jeffri. "Falcons' historic collapse leads to Patriots' fifth Super Bowl win". NFL. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
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  43. ^ "Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons – November 26th, 2017". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
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  45. ^ "2017 Atlanta Falcons Statistics & Players". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  46. ^ "Wild Card – Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles Rams – January 6th, 2018". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
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  48. ^ "Bengals get win in final seconds – The Tribune". The Tribune. October 1, 2018. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  49. ^ "Falcons Highlights: Matt Ryan catches TD from Mohamed Sanu on Atlanta special". Falcons Wire. December 30, 2018. Retrieved January 29, 2019.
  50. ^ "Mohamed Sanu 2018 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 29, 2019.
  51. ^ "Tennessee Titans at Atlanta Falcons - September 29th, 2019". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved April 3, 2020.
  52. ^ "Atlanta Falcons at Houston Texans - October 6th, 2019". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved April 3, 2020.
  53. ^ "Mohamed Sanu 2019 Game Log (Games with the Atlanta Falcons)". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved April 3, 2020.
  54. ^ Gordon, Grant (October 22, 2019). "Patriots trade for WR Mohamed Sanu from Falcons". NFL.com. Retrieved April 3, 2020.
  55. ^ "Mohamed Sanu Debuts With 23 Receiving Yards". RotoBaller.com. Roto Baller. October 27, 2019. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
  56. ^ "New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens - November 3rd, 2019". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved April 3, 2020.
  57. ^ "Wild Card - Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots - January 4th, 2020". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved April 3, 2020.
  58. ^ "Mohamed Sanu 2019 Game Log (Games with the New England Patriots)". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved April 3, 2020.
  59. ^ "Company selling stock in Mohamed Sanu for $10". SI.com. August 4, 2014. Retrieved April 3, 2020.
  60. ^ Heitner, Darren (January 4, 2015). "Stock In Bengals WR Mohamed Sanu Is On The Rise". Forbes. Retrieved April 3, 2020.

External links[edit]