As shown by an extremely emotional question and answer session today, Sanu's heart remains with Rutgers, but staying for a fourth season only hurts him in the long run.
Linebacker Khaseem Greene showed everyone first-hand how serious of a concern injuries can be. Like Ray Rice, one 13 fewer games of college football means 13 fewer opportunities to get hurt before even getting a chance at the NFL. For someone that touches the ball as often as Sanu, that is critical.
Another 100-catch season is nice, and puts him in position to break all kinds of records, but the rewards do not outweigh the risk of injury.
Sanu clearly has the talent to be an NFL player. He projects as a third-round pick right now, but could sneak as high as the end of the first round with a good showing at the NFL Combine. There are a handful of stud receivers in this year's NFL Draft, but who's to say it won't get even deeper next season? After Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon, the battle for top receiver is wide open.
What do NFL teams look for other than talent? Maturity.
As a man, Sanu is the No. 1 overall prospect in the draft.
A model citizen, great role model and someone that is never in the spotlight for the wrong reasons, any team is better off from a character standpoint with No. 6 on the roster.
Unlike prospects, who may have benefited from a fourth year at Rutgers to grow up some more, Sanu is all grown up.
"As great an athlete as he is, he's an even better person," said head coach Greg Schiano. "It's nice to be able to say that about a guy."
So what does this mean for Rutgers? On the field, the Scarlet Knights should be OK. You cannot replace someone as talented and versatile as Sanu overnight, but there is enough talent on this roster to sustain the loss of the top receiver and punt returner.
If anything, the receiver unit as a whole will be better next season than it was this season. Mark Harrison is now a senior and Brandon Coleman showed in the last two games what kind of dynamic player he can be.
Miles Shuler can be a tremendous down-the-field threat as he continues to learn the position and Quron Pratt and fifth-year senior Tim Wright can both be the possession-type receivers that Sanu was for the Scarlet Knights this year.
Now, many said similar things about the running game without Rice in 2008 and look what happened. nothing is a lock, but the Rutgers offense should be able to thrive even without Sanu next season.
Sanu's off the field presence, however, cannot be replaced.
Sanu was Mr. Host on official visits the last three years and a great role model for younger student athletes. Always showing up at campus hotspots and a great face of the program, someone will have to step up to replace Sanu as a recruiter, role model and representative of Rutgers. It's still early, but Logan Ryan comes to mind for the immediate future with guys like Savon Huggins, Gary Nova and Shuler having great potential as well.