Former South Brunswick High School and Rutgers University star wide receiver didn't waste any time making a good first impression on his new team. Sanu, drafted with the 83rd overall pick in by the Cincinnati Bengals, drew rave reviews from teammates and coaches at the team's recent rookie mini-camp.
“(Sanu) is already off to an impressive start, easily standing out at last weekend’s Bengals rookie minicamp, drawing both praise and a prediction of early contributions from head coach Marvin Lewis,” wrote Don Banks from Sports Illustrated. “Cincinnati has a decent history of rookie impact from receivers, getting that monster debut season from first-rounder A.J. Green last year (65 catches for 1,057 yards and seven touchdowns), and a seven-touchdown showing from third-rounder Chris Henry in 2005. Sanu is an ideal complement to Green’s outside speed and vertical game, and he’ll work the inside and underneath routes with both precision and determination, pulling down plenty of catches in a crowd or despite solid coverage. NFL scouts worried about his ability to separate this spring, but come September, Sanu will be putting plenty of distance between himself and most of the league’s other rookie receivers.”
Sanu also drew praise from his counterpart Green, last year's breakout rookie whose 1,057 receiving yards led all first year receivers.
“Man, that guy is smooth,” Green told Bengals.com. “He works the middle really well. A lot of people have questioned his speed, but the guy has ‘football speed.’ It’s just like myself. A lot of people say that he didn’t run the fastest, but you see him on the field and he’s fluid in-and-out of his breaks, he catches everything with his hands, and he attacks the ball. He’s going to be a special one.”
Sanu is expected to alternate between lining up wide opposite Green and in the slot for the Bengals.
(threw for roughly 900 yards his junior year), was a great runner (ran for about 700 yards his junior year), and was a top-rated safety.
Thanks in large part to Sanu, the 2007 South Brunswick High School football team was the first from the school to make the state playoffs in 30 years. During the 2010 season for Rutgers, Sanu carried the ball 59 times for 309 yards and four touchdowns out of the "Wildcat" formation. In the 2009 season, he carried the ball 62 times for 346 yards and five touchdowns. During the 2009 season, Sanu also returned punts and kicks.
In 2011, Sanu captured the attention of scouts with some eye-popping numbers for the Scarlet Knights. He enjoyed a stellar year at Rutgers, breaking current Arizona Cardinals and former Pitt Panther wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald's Big East record for receptions in a season.
Sanu finished the year with 115 catches for 1,206 yards. Sanu was a unanimous All-Big East selection in 2011, was named a Fourth Team All-America selection by Phil Steele, and was an honorable mention All-America pick by Sports Illustrated. Sanu also won the Homer Hazel Trophy as Rutgers' most valuable player.
Sanu dropped into the third round of the draft after concerns were raised about his ability to separate from NFL cornerbacks. But heading into his pro debut in the fall, Sanu is ready to prove the doubters wrong.
“I felt good out there,” Sanu told Bengals.com. “I’m just trying to do my job because that’s what you have to do to be successful in this league. I’m going to learn as much as I can and do my job to the best of my abilities. It’s all about understanding and knowing where you fit in.”