Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Mohamed Sanu is used to lending a helping hand at a crucial moment. The veteran did just that last week, although his latest effort didn’t come on the football field.
Sanu made a video to help Brianna Stoohs, a senior at Mahwah High School in Mahwah, N.J., pull off a promposal for her boyfriend Sam Darrow, a diehard Falcons fan. Along with making a video for Darrow, the six-year NFL veteran and New Jersey native also sent the high school junior an autographed football.
Stoohs’ plans to get Sanu involved in asking Darrow to her senior prom began in March.
Darrow pulled off an elaborate promposal for his junior prom with a scavenger hunt that took Stoohs to different locations in Mahwah that had significance in their relationship. Darrow has been a Falcons fan for almost his entire life — he has photos as a 6-year-old wearing Warrick Dunn and Alge Crumpler jerseys — so Stoohs knew she wanted to involve the Falcons somehow.
Stoohs remembered how Darrow would often yell for Sanu during games and that Darrow had Sanu as the background on his phone for more than a year. On a whim, Stoohs direct messaged Sanu on Twitter asking for his help.
“I said, ‘Hey, my boyfriend absolutely idolizes you,’” Stoohs said. “‘He did something super special for my promposal this year, and I need to one up him honestly. I have to prompose to him for my senior prom, and I was wondering if you might be able to help.’”
Sanu quickly responded and came through with a video and an autographed football. From there, it was up to Stoohs to pull off the reveal.
Stoohs decided to make it happen at Boom Burger, a restaurant in Mahwah. She coordinated with restaurant management and made sure the technology would cooperate. It took two trips and about three hours of work, but eventually the setup was ready.
Stoohs talked Darrow into going to Boom Burger on May 11 under the guise of a normal date on their one-and-a-half year anniversary. Darrow wore a Falcons shirt to the restaurant and began to wonder why the TV in front of their table was the only one turned off. However, he quickly dismissed it as the two settled in.
Darrow’s curiosity became confusion then utter shock when the TV came on and Sanu’s face appeared.
“Hey Sam, this is Mohamed Sanu, and I think you should go to prom with Brianna,” Sanu said. “You better say yes.”
As Darrow tried to comprehend what he just saw, Stoohs gave him the autographed football, a Falcons poster she made that spelled “PROM” with the Falcons logo and a t-shirt she bought featuring Sanu. Stoohs began explaining to Darrow how she pulled off the promposal, but it appeared Darrow was still processing the moment.
“I was pretty confused for the first couple of seconds. I knew the face, but of course I wasn’t able to put two and two together until he started talking,” Darrow said. “It never really became real for me until Sanu said my name. That’s when it kind of hit me, and you can see my jaw completely drop at that point.”
Stoohs’ idea played out perfectly, which she said was a relief. She said she was extremely stressed in the time leading up to the promposal, as she worried about everything that could go wrong. Stoohs and Darrow will begin a long-distance relationship once Stoh goes to the University of South Carolina this fall, and it was important to her that she gave him a memorable experience.
Darrow recognized how much work Stoohs put in to make the promposal something he wouldn’t forget.
“To say it meant the world to me could not possibly be more of an understatement,” Darrow said. “For her to even get the idea of doing such a thing is amazing in itself. She could have easily made me a poster and let that be it. For her to not only reach out to Sanu, but to also make an incredible poster by hand and get me the signed ball and t-shirt, it truly makes me feel a sense of gratitude like nothing I’ve ever felt before.”
Both thanked Sanu for coming through for them despite all the obligations he has as a professional athlete. Stoohs said she messaged Sanu after the promposal to let him know just how much people were talking about it.
“I love that !!,” Sanu wrote back to Stoohs. “Glad you guys are gettin recognition for your love for one another. Just tryna show love where I see it.”
Although Darrow’s promposal was a special one for Stoohs, he was willing to admit his girlfriend one-upped him with help from one of his favorite players.
“It usually takes a lot to make me cry, but I think there may have been tears in my eyes for the rest of the day,” Darrow said. “All I can say is that I’ve got quite the tall task ahead of me to try and top this next year, although I have absolutely no idea where to even begin with that. Maybe I’ll reach out to the President or something.”