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Mark Sanchez Under Pressure From New York Media

NFL News - July 7, 2009 - Written by Bruce

mark sanchez jets quarterbackThe New York Jets hope they have found their next Joe Namath. The Jets traded up to the 5th pick in this years draft to select Quarterback Mark Sanchez. This is the highest they have drafted a QB since 1964 when they drafted Namath with the 1st pick of the AFL Draft. Sanchez only started one season in college, leading the USC Trojans to a 12-1 record. The game that definitely helped his draft status was the Rose Bowl Game where he threw for 413 yards and passed for 4 touchdowns. This performance elevated Sanchez in the eyes of NFL scouts, with the Jets to deciding to move up to draft him. They traded away three current players, none of which were starters, and their 2009 2nd Round pick to get the 5th pick in this years draft in a trade with the Cleveland Browns. If he ultimately ends up being the franchise Quarterback they are hoping he is, this will be an amazing trade for the Jets franchise.

Sanchez was born and raised in Southern California. In high school he was named Player of the Year by many of the of the college recruiting services. After his senior season in 2005 he was considered the top Quarterback in the nation coming out of high school. He attended USC and did not become a starter until this past season, as a redshirt junior. In his early years while at Santa Margarita High school, Sanchez was a ball boy for future USC Heisman Trophy Quarterback Carson Palmer. He looked up to Palmer and this was one of the factors that led Sanchez to USC. Another reason that led him to the university was Coach Pete Carroll's sophisticated pro style offense which would showcase Sanchez's skills. He obviously made a great choice as his one season as a starter there propelled him to the 5th overall pick in the 2009 draft.  Sanchez is a third generation Mexican American and has immediately become a role model and a symbol for them. So far he seems to have the personality to be able to handle this kind of pressure placed upon him.

The Jets signed Sanchez to the largest contract in franchise history. He signed a five year deal worth $50 million, with $28 million in guarantees. New Head Coach Rex Ryan loves the rookie quarterback. Sanchez possesses a strong arm, good pocket presence, and seems to have the intangibles that a star QB in the NFL needs to have. Playing at USC thrusted him into the spotlight which prepared him some for the New York media. With all the pressure that he will have, there will definitely be a few early struggles which the New York media will be all over. Once Sanchez gets adjusted to playing in this league he should be a productive play making quarterback for the Jets. With the burden of being a role model for Mexican American youth and also the pressure of signing the largest contract in team history, Sanchez will have to ultimately become a star in this league to live up to all the expectations.