Mohamed Sanu is a wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons and a proud graduate of Rutgers University. With an impressive football career and diploma in hand, few people would assume that he struggled once he finished college to find a job in his chosen field. However, this is precisely what happened to Sanu when he graduated from Rutgers University in 2011. Unsure of what his next steps should be, he took several odd jobs as a substitute teacher, personal trainer and even as a real estate agent before finally being invited to the Cincinnati Bengals training camp. But rather than dwell on the difficulties of transitioning from student to adult, Sanu has used his experiences to fuel his determination and passion for playing professional football. Here’s everything you need to know about Mohamed Sanu the man.

Who Is Mohamed Sanu?

Mohamed Sanu is an NFL wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons and a graduate of Rutgers University. A native of South Carolina, Sanu moved to New Jersey in high school where he discovered his love of football. After playing wide receiver at Rutgers University, Sanu was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 3rd round of the 2011 NFL Draft. He also played for the New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers and is now a wide receiver with the Atlanta Falcons. While Sanu’s athletic prowess has garnered much of the attention, his academic achievements are equally impressive. He graduated with a degree in Psychology and, while playing pro football, returned to Rutgers University in 2017 to complete a postgraduate degree in Communication Studies.

A Brief History of Mohamed Sanu

Born to parents of Guyanese descent, Sanu was a standout student athlete in football, basketball and track and field at his New Jersey high school. He was recruited by several colleges and ultimately accepted a scholarship from Rutgers University to play wide receiver. He graduated Rutgers with a degree in Psychology and, after being drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals, began his professional football career in 2011. Sanu spent the majority of his career with the Bengals, but he also played briefly for the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers. As of 2019, Sanu is a wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons.

How Mohamed Sanu Became a Professional Athlete

After graduating from high school, Sanu accepted a scholarship to play wide receiver at Rutgers University. He thrived in the Rutgers football program and played a key role in the team’s success. During his senior year, Rutgers finished with a 10-2 record and a victory in the 2011 International Bowl. After graduating, Sanu was selected in the 3rd round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. While the transition from college student to professional athlete was difficult, Sanu credits his college coaches, teammates and friends for helping him during the process. To this day, he remains in touch with many from his college team and credits them for helping him “stay on the straight and narrow” during his early years as a professional football player.

What You Can Learn From Mohamed Sanu’s Story

Sanu’s story is a powerful reminder of the importance of staying focused on your goals and dreams even when things don’t go according to plan. When Sanu finished college in 2011, the job market was difficult. Real estate agents and stock brokers were struggling to find new customers and many employers were reluctant to hire new full-time employees. Yet, despite these challenges, Sanu refused to give up on his NFL dreams. Instead, he remained diligent in his search for a job and, eventually, was invited to training camp by the Cincinnati Bengals. His hard work and perseverance paid off and today he is a successful NFL player doing what he loves.

The Importance of Networking and Relationships

While it’s important to stay focused on your goals and dreams, it’s also crucial that you take the time to network. In fact, many job openings are never posted and are instead filled through personal connections and word-of-mouth. While it can be tempting to focus on your job search and ignore your network, implementing at least one or two networking strategies each week can make a significant difference in your career. You might consider joining a local business or entrepreneurial group, following influential people on social media or hosting a dinner party where you invite friends and family. No matter which of these strategies you decide to employ, remember that networking is a two-way street: while you may be able to benefit from the connections you make, you must also be willing to offer assistance and support in exchange.


In many ways, Mohamed Sanu’s story is not so different from yours. He struggled to find a job after graduating from college, worked several odd jobs, and played football for no pay. He even worked as a substitute teacher at one point. Nevertheless, despite these challenges, Sanu refused to give up on his dreams. He never stopped training, practicing and improving his skills as a wide receiver. And, thankfully, his hard work and determination were rewarded: Sanu is now a successful NFL wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons.

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