South Brunswick High School has never seen a star like Mohamed Sanu walk its hallways, and on Oct. 26, Sanu's jersey number will never be worn again on the football field.
SBHS will honor the accomplishments of Sanu by retiring his jersey number 2 on Oct. 26 at halftime of the game against Sayreville.
Sanu was born in New Brunswick on August 22, 1989. He would move to Sayreville, he would move to Sierra Leone in West Africa, where his mother still lives, and later he would move to Atlanta, where his father still lives, before finally finding a place to call home.
"Mo is such a special person, with the things he's overcome and what he's gone through moving around so much," said former SBHS coach Rick Mantz in a previous interview.
As he was ready to go into the sixth grade, Sanu's sister, Haja Jabbie, offered up a more permanent home for him in South Brunswick.
"Moving around I got to have a lot of different experiences and got to meet a lot of different people," Sanu said in a previous interview.
According to Sanu, South Brunswick was a great place to establish roots.
"Coming through South Brunswick, I got a great foundation to start from," Sanu said. "I got a great education."
The versatile star wore many hats for the Vikings. He played quarterback (threw for roughly 900 yards his junior year). He was a great runner (ran for about 700 yards his junior year). He also punted and was a top-notch 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.
Unfortunately, Sanu would not be able to compete his senior year. He had turned 19 before the season began. He was allowed to practice with the team, but he was not permitted to play in any games.
Sanu would move on to Rutgers University, where in 2011 he took his game to a new level, capturing the attention of NFL scouts.
Sanu finished the year with 115 catches for 1,206 yards. He 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.
He would go on to be selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the third round of the NFL Draft 83rd overall. Sanu recently with 73-yard pass to A.J. Green from the "Wildcat" formation in a 38-31 Bengals victory over the Washington Redskins.
"When Mo stopped playing at SBHS we informed him that we were not going to issue his number 2 jersey," Mantz said. "He asked that we allow Jevon Tyree to wear it and Jevon did until last year when he graduated."
Following in Sanu's footsteps, Tyree is currently a freshman at Rutgers.
The Bengals have a bye week during the weekend of Oct. 28 and Sanu will fly home to be honored at a brief halftime presentation. His jersey will be framed and mounted on display inside SBHS and on a large sign with his jersey mounted and displayed under the football stadium scoreboard.
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