SR.com Top 25: WR Mohamed Sanu (No. 2)

Training camp is close to starting and ScarletReport.com's series looking at the Top 25 most important players for the 2010 season nears its conclusion. The latest installment looks at do-everything receiver Mohamed Sanu, who fine-tuned his body to get ready for the heavy workload he is anticipating.

If Mohamed Sanu could snap the ball to himself, drop back to pass and pick up a blitz, then throw the ball 30 yards down field, then his presence in the offense would be felt in every asset.

Cloning aside, Sanu's impact on Rutgers' offense will be more profound than any other player, sans quarterback Tom Savage.

Sanu catches passes, runs the "Wildcat" offense, returns punts and is now serving as a mentor to the rest of the receivers. No wonder he checks in at No. 2 on ScarletReport.com's countdown of the Top 25 most important players for the 2010 season.

In fact, because the 6-foot-2, 218-pound Sanu is expecting so much attention and so many touches this season, he spent the offseason working on his body and getting it ready for all the physical play. He acknowledged by the end of the 2009 season he was a little fatigued, but that is understandable considering his impact on the offense.

Sanu was the first true freshman to start at receiver in his first game under coach Greg Schiano, became the first Rutgers player in 16 years to have a rushing, receiving and passing touchdown in a season, and he made a catch in every game.

And Sanu's impact was felt everywhere.

He caught 51 passes for 639 yards and three touchdowns. When the running game sputtered and a package involving then-reserve quarterback Jabu Lovelace failed to produce rushing yards, Sanu was instituted as the "Wildcat" back, taking snaps and slashing through and running over defenses.

He carried 62 times for 346 yards, a 5.6 yard average, and also scored five touchdowns. But one area where the former highs school quarterback would like to see improvement is in the passing game, where he went 1 for 7 for 38 yards and at touchdown.

And Sanu was alsp Rutgers' primary punt returner, a steady but not explosive returner who averaged 3.9 yards on 17 returns. His long was 13 yards.

Certainly, defensive coaches had a season to study game tape and see what made Sanu so effective in the backfield, and how to stop him. And as a receiver Sanu was aided by speedy Tim Brown, who stretched defenses and allowed Sanu to catch balls underneath.

With Brown gone and defensive coaches knowing they need to limit Sanu, other receivers will have plenty of opportunity to inject themselves into games.

Sanu's impact will be felt throughout the offense, and even if he doesn't touch the ball as much because of defensive game plans designed to limit him, his mark will exist in some form.


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