Mohamed Sanu Ready to Ascend

August 11, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, TMO, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

Sanu103806432The Rutgers University football team may have a new offensive coordinator, but they still have the same prized offensive weapon: wide receiver Mohamed Sanu. Sanu will be making one change, however. He has been shifting between the wide receiver, running back, and even quarterback positions during his Rutgers career so far. This year, he will concentrate only on the wide receiver position.

“If football can be played with only one person on the field, he (Sanu) can probably play every position that is out there,” Rutgers wide receivers coach P.J. Fleck told NewBrunswick.com. “We really can do anything with him. He can play any position for us. He kind of already has (laughs).”

“It’s my job as offensive coordinator to put our playmakers in the best position to make plays,” Rutgers offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti said. “We want to create the best matchups. (Sanu) is a wide receiver.”

“It’s a blessing to be able to do many things,” Sanu told NewBrunswick.com. “Right now, I’m pretty happy to be able to just focus on doing one thing. I get to see how good I can be at one thing.” His versatility helped him become well-rounded, but focusing only on receiving should preserve his health. “Being just a wide receiver should also help him health-wise,” Fleck said. “As a halfback, he got hit about twenty more times a game than he would as a receiver.”

Sanu’s football honors thus far have included Honorable Mention Freshman All-America by CollegeFootballNews.com and a Third Team All-Big East selection by Phil Steele.Sanu stands at an impressive 6’ 2” and 215 pounds. And, blessed with smarts, speed, and strength, he is rated as a possible first round draft pick in next spring’s NFL Draft by a number of scouting services. And while his experiences as a running back, quarterback, kick returner, and even punter have added to his skillset, it will be his specialization that should propel him to future National Football League success.
“We really can do anything with him,” Fleck noted. “From a selfish standpoint as the wide receivers coach, I’m glad I have him the whole time. There were times when we were working on things when he had to go be the quarterback or do the run game.”

“I think he’ll be even better this year,” Fleck said. “You have to rep technique. You have to do it over and over and over. He can take all of the mental capacity he has and focus it on being a receiver, with the routes and the concepts. I think he’ll be able to respond quicker, think faster.”

“First of all, he’s bigger than most receivers,” Rutgers sophomore quarterback Chas Dodd told NewBrunswick.com. “He’s very strong. He’s very fast. He’s able to catch the ball and make plays with it. His yards after the catch is one thing that really elevates his game. He catches the ball well and is a big target for me. I love throwing to a guy like that. The more reps we get, the more comfortable we’ll feel in the timing of the routes.”

“At this point, I can’t say anything is set,” Cignetti said. “As an offense, you always want to do what is best for us to represent problems for the defense we’re playing.

“If coach decides to go in that direction, we know we have him,” Fleck added. “He gives us the ability to create mismatches across the board.” “I never really thought of myself as being this or that position,” said Sanu, who spent his early childhood in Sierra Leone. “I’m a football player.”

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Ryan Harris Leaves Denver for Philly

August 11, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, TMO, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

ryan_harrisVeteran football offensive tackle Ryan Harris signed a one year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles on August 2nd. He had spent the previous four seasons with the Denver Broncos. And, now he has his sights set on the starting right tackle position currently occupied by Winston Justice. However, the job should be fairly open, with Justice having finished last season on the bench in a playoff game.

Harris was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and was raised in the church of Unitarian Universalism before converting to Islam. He was football and wrestling star in high school. And, after being heavily recruited for football, he went to the University of Notre Dame, where he started on the offensive line for all four years.

Former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker, and current football analyst, Garry Cobb viewed Harris at Eagles practice and wrote, “I got a short look at Harris but it wasn’t enough for me to give him a thumbs up or thumbs down. He looks and sounds like a good, intelligent athlete with the size to get the job done. I didn’t focus on him during the workout, I know I didn’t see his man getting to the quarterback, which is really all that matters.”

Cobb wrote further on PhillySports24X7.com, “I talked to Harris after practice and he talked about all the new techniques he’s had to learn from new offensive line coach Howard Mudd. I could tell that Harris is a cool confident customer, which [is] the attitude you must have to survive at offensive tackle in this league with all of these phenomenally talented defensive ends in the league.”

Harris was drafted by the Denver Broncos as a 3rd round pick (70th overall) in the 2007 NFL draft. In the 2008 season, Harris only allowed 1.5 sacks on his quarterback, Jay Cutler. The next year, Harris only started and played in 8 games, due to injuries. He dislocated two toes in a game on November 1, 2009. The injury kept him out the rest of season and was placed on Injured Reserve on December 9. Now, he becomes a part of Philadelphia’s so-called Dream Team. And he will have a valuable role on the team, that of protecting prized quarterback Michael Vick.

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