Mohamed Sanu targeted in hoax

Updated: April 28, 2012, 12:02 PM ET
By Jamison Hensley | ESPN.com

Rutgers wide receiver Mohamed Sanu was the victim of a draft-night prank which led him to believe he was being taken in the first round by the Cincinnati Bengals.

Sanu
Sanu

As it turns out, the Bengals did select Sanu -- in the third round on Friday night.

Sanu received a phone call from someone identifying himself as a member of the Bengals before Cincinnati made the 27th overall pick on Thursday night, according to Sanu's agent, Mike McCartney.

Sanu and his draft party celebrated until everyone saw the name of guard Kevin Zeitler flash across the TV screen as the Bengals' selection.

"Everybody's going nuts in his home. He's like, 'I can't hear you, Mike, I'll call you soon,' " McCartney told The Star-Ledger on Friday. "His brother calls me and he's euphoric and going nuts. We're all kind of high-fiving over the phone. And I said, 'They're about to show it on ESPN. I'll call you later.'

"And then they show (Kevin) Zeitler," McCartney told the paper.

In the excitement of getting the phone call, McCartney told The Star-Ledger, Sanu had not noticed the incoming phone number had a 908 area code -- making it a northern New Jersey number.

"My mind doesn't work like that. It just doesn't think, 'Oh, this could be a prank call,' " McCartney said, according to the report.

In the end, the Bengals did want Sanu. Cincinnati used the 20th pick in the third round to select him.

"Thank God!! Im a Bengal for REAL!!!! AHHHHH! Bengals baeby!!!!" Sanu wrote on Twitter.

McCartney told ESPN's Andrew Brandt that he called back the number, which Sanu got off his caller ID, but the person on the other end of the line showed little remorse, saying it was "just a practical joke."

"It was some kid from Rutgers who said his friend got his phone and played a practical joke. He was apologetic," McCartney said, according to The Star-Ledger.

"I just said to the kid, 'Do you understand how much pain you just caused? And it's not just him, it's his family. Do you understand what you did?' " McCartney said, according to the report. "At that point, there was nothing more I could do."

Sanu, who last season finished as the Big East's all-time leader in receptions with 210, was expected to be taken in the second or third round. Last season, Sanu caught 115 passes for 1,206 yards and seven touchdowns for Rutgers.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

SPONSORED HEADLINES

EDITORS' PICKS

MORE NFL HEADLINES