Five years, two franchises and millions of dollars into Mohamed Sanu’s NFL career, he remains just as involved with the Rutgers community.
A local Monmouth Junction (N.J.) South Brunswick product and all-time receptions leader for the Scarlet Knights, Sanu was among Rutgers family Friday in New York at the Rally at the Alley.
The launch of Sanu’s Crew, an annual football camp partnered with the Embrace Kids Foundation based in New Brunswick, is one of his many charity efforts.
“It’s just to give back, give hope, encourage and let them kids know somebody’s going to support them,” Sanu said. “Definitely deal with kids that are fighting cancer, young youth who need somebody to inspire them, give them hope. I try to do my best to give them that. They give me hope and inspire me, so I try to give it back to them.”
As someone who overcame hard times growing up, Sanu understands how far inspiration and giving back can go.
“It’s important because Jersey’s such a small state filled with so many talented people in all aspects of life,” he said. “I just want to give a little bit of inspiration, whether it’s my presence or me saying some words of camaraderie or friendship. To be able to give back to somebody and be able to give that encouragement, listen, you can do anything you set your mind to. Just believe in yourself and chase your dream. So I try to do that as much as I can.”
Sanu remains equally involved with Rutgers football. Nephew and redshirt-freshman wide receiver Mohamed Jabbie is in his second year with the program under coach Chris Ash.
“We talk everyday,” Sanu said of Jabbie. “We just talk about life, and if he has any questions about football, he knows he can call me and he does that. I try to give him every piece of information I know.”
Between Jabbie and former South Brunswick coach Rick Mantz now at Rutgers, Sanu’s ties keep him close with program he starred at.
“It’s cool, I love being a fan of the program I played for,” Sanu said. “I think we’re going to go great this year. I have a feeling that we will, and I’m very excited to see what we do this year. The guys are working hard definitely in the winter programs so far, excited to see how spring ball goes and see what we do this year.”
Sanu posted a career-high 59 receptions in his first season with the Atlanta Falcons. After a loss in Super Bowl LI to the New England Patriots and former Rutgers teammate Devin McCourty, Sanu poked at a friendly competition for when the two bowled against each other in the Rally at the Alley.
“That’s my brother, that’s my guy,” Sanu said. “I’ve known Devin for years, and I’m going to talk trash to his behind just like I was in the Super Bowl.”