As a true freshman, Sanu had 51 receptions for 639 yards and three touchdowns and ran 62 times for 346 yards and five touchdowns out of the Wildcat formation. Sanu was the first-ever true freshman to start at wide receiver for Rutgers under coach Greg Schiano, and he won Most Valuable Player honors at the 2009 St. Petersburg Bowl. In 2010, Sanu was a consensus preseason All-Big East wide receiver. In 2011 against North Carolina he tied a Big East record with 13 receptions. The next week he broke his own record by catching 16 passes. In 2011, Sanu broke the Big East single-season reception record with 115 receptions for 1,206 yards, a record previously held by Larry Fitzgerald. In his three seasons at Rutgers, Sanu caught 210 passes for 2,263 yards and 19 touchdowns and gained 3,019 all-purpose yards. He also completed eight of 18 passes for 207 yards and four touchdowns.