HOUSTON — They were mostly all business in Suite 192 at the Silvers Apartments in Piscataway. Logan Ryan admired how one of his freshman roommates at Rutgers was an early riser who wanted to be on time, just like him. Mohamed Sanu appreciated how Ryan worked hard to keep the apartment clean, just like him.

But this was college, after all, and even the most serious students have to find a way to unwind. That happened when the music was turned up and the switch was thrown on a disco ball in that apartment, a signal that the door was open to everyone and the good times could begin.

“They had a disco ball, and when the disco ball came on, we knew it was going to be a great night,” their longtime friend Duron Harmon said with a laugh on Tuesday.

“I know Log and Sanu have their fiancees now, so I can’t say everything that happened, you know what I’m saying? But we definitely had good times in that place. When that (disco ball) got that whole living room going, it was going to be a great night.”

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Yes, perhaps there are some Super Bowl stories that are best left untold, and plenty of those good times in 192 Silvers will remain on that list. Sanu and Ryan share that four-bedroom campus apartment with two other players on the team, quarterback Tom Savage and tight end Paul Carrezola. With Savage on the Houston Texans roster this season, an impressive three-quarters of that foursome made the NFL playoffs. 

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But it only gets crazier to think that, when Super Bowl LI begins on Sunday night, one of the key matchups could be roommate on roommate. The New England Patriots won’t reveal how they’ll cover this high-powered Atlanta Falcons offense, but it is likely that Ryan will be locked on Sanu in coverage. 

Who knows? Maybe the legacies of these two teams will come down to two longtime friends who, seven years ago in Piscataway, turned a disco ball into a bat signal for the rest of the Rutgers campus to come party.

“It’s not our first time going at each other,” Ryan said. “It will be an entertaining matchup. We went at it for years and I think it will be a lot of fun out there — a lot of competing, some trash-talking and a lot of laughing, too.”

Sanu caught 59 passes for 653 yards and four touchdowns during Fenomenbet the his first season with the Falcons, and added a touchdown reception in each of their first two playoff victories.

Ryan had 92 tackles and two interceptions in his fourth season with the Patriots, a key part of a defense that has allowed an opponent to score more than 20 points just one during its current nine-game winning streak. 

It is no secret how much Patriots head coach Bill Belichick loves his Rutgers players (the 50 other Patriots are tired of hearing about it). But the way he heaped praise on Sanu this week made it clear that won’t forget about the New Brunswick native as he game plans to stop star Atlanta receiver Julio Jones.

“Mo is truly a linebacker playing a receiver,” Falcons backup quarterback Matt Simms said. “He catches the ball and wants to inflict pain on other people.”

That he might end up inflicting that pain on a fellow Rutgers alum could make for a fascinating night. Sanu and Ryan became friends during the recruiting process, and so it was natural that they’d choose to share an apartment when they arrived on campus. 

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Ryan said he brought most of the furniture and that his parents, never far away with his South Jersey roots, frequent visited and filled the fridge. But it was Sanu who had the admirable quality that most college students lack — he loved to get up early.

“I was always on time,” Sanu said from the riser at Super Bowl LI’s Opening Night. “I hate being late. … That was why we would always jell. We would always wake up at the same time.” 

They lived together for their first two years on campus and, while the quartet at 192 Silvers went their separate ways after that, their friendship has remained strong even after their professional careers took them to different parts of the country.

Ryan sent Sanu a simple text with only the two-eyes emoji when the Patriots won the AFC Championship Game. Sanu replied with those same two eyes. They knew that they were not only watching each other, but that soon, another hundred million eyes would be following them, too … including more than a few from their college community.

“I think it’s great for the school,” Ryan said. “I think is pretty cool and hopefully it inspires kids from our area where I grew up to follow in my footsteps or do what they feel is right.”

It certainly isn’t unprecedented for two college teammates to face each other in the Super Bowl. But for two college roommates? And to potentially be locked in a one-on-one matchup that will go a long way to determine who wins the biggest game of their lives?

Somebody should fire up that old disco ball from 192 Silvers. It’s going to be a great night.

Steve Politi may be reached at spoliti@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @StevePoliti. Find Steve on Facebook.


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