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{{Infobox NFLactiveWhen Sanchez was elevated to prominence at USC, he found himself a symbol of Mexican-American identity and a role model for children. Being at USC put him in the center of the spotlight in Los Angeles, a metropolitan area populated with more than 4.6 million Latinos, three-quarters of whom are Mexican. He began getting attention from the media in Mexicomarker.While there had been previous, successful Mexican-American quarterbacks such as Jim Plunkett, Joe Kapp, Jeff Garcia, Tony Romo, and Marc Bulger, unlike his predecessors, Sanchez was a third-generation, full-blooded Mexican-American. USC fans began playing up Sanchez' ethnicity by wearing items such as sarapes, lucha libremasks and homemade "¡Viva Sanchez!" T-shirts. His rise to fame within the Mexican-American community was compared to that of boxer Oscar De La Hoyaand baseball pitcher Fernando Valenzuela.

During his first two games as a starter in 2007, Sanchez wore a custom-made mouthpiecethat featured the colors of the Mexican flagin honor of his heritage. Although little noticed during his first game against Arizona, it became a prominent issue after his nationally-televised game against Notre Dame. An item that Sanchez wore because he thought it was "cool" became a symbol for two opposing viewpoints: for Mexican-Americans, it was a symbol of solidarity—Sanchez publicly accepting his roots; for detractors, the gesture symbolized radical activism. Sanchez, who was born and raised in the U.S., reportedly received letters urging him to go back to Mexico. Sanchez himself stated, “It’s not a Mexican power thing or anything like that. It’s just a little bit of pride in our heritage. Hopefully, it inspires somebody and it’s all for the best.” Surprised by the attention and shying away from politics, Sanchez stopped wearing the mouthpiece, but began participating in other efforts to benefit the Latino community.

Sanchez, who knew how to speak some Spanish but was not bilingual going into his junior season at USC, began taking Spanish lessons so he could do interviews with the Spanish-language media without a translator. He began speaking to high school kids from predominantly Latino Santa Ana and East Los Angeles. The USC bandbegan to play "El Matador", a 1993 song by the Argentinian band Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, when Sanchez would take the field. He participated in programs which provides school supplies to first-graders in heavily Latino areas of Long Beach and the South Bay, and joined L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosain distributing holiday gifts to needy families. By the end of his USC career, he had been hailed as a significant role model for Latino youth in America.


  1. Paul Gutierrez, USC quarterback is a cultural icon, Sacramento Bee, November 15, 2008, Accessed January 16, 2009.
  2. Jorge Arangure Jr., Mark Sanchez: Behind the Feature, ESPN The Magazine, August 11, 2008, Accessed January 16, 2009.
  3. Gary Klein, Sanchez prepared for Oregon noise, Los Angeles Times, October 23, 2007, Accessed July 31, 2008.
  4. Gustavo Arellano, A mouthpiece says it all, Los Angeles Times, October 26, 2007, Accessed January 16, 2009.
  5. Gustavo Arellano, QWM (Quarterbacking While Mexican): USC Edition, OC Weekly, October 23, 2007, Accessed January 16, 2009.
  6. Andrew Lawrence, The Matador, Sports Illustrated, October 6, 2008, Accessed January 16, 2009.
  7. Gustavo Arellano, A UCLA Bruin Plea for USC's Mark Sanchez to Stay in School, OC Weekly, January 2, 2009, Accessed January 16, 2009.

External links

name=Mark Sanchez
image=Mark Sanchez - Jets - Sept 2009.jpg
caption=Mark Sanchez during the 2009 NFL preseason.
currentteam= New York Jets
birthplace=Long Beach, California
debutteam=New York Jets
college=Southern Californiamarker
pastteams= *[[New York Jets]] ({{NFL Year|2009}}–present) |status=Active |highlights= *[[#Awards and honors|College awards and honors]] *3×[[Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week]] Winner |statweek=12 |statseason=2009 |statlabel1=[[Touchdown|TD]]–[[Interception (football)|INT]] |statvalue1=10-16 |statlabel2=Passing yards |statvalue2=1,655 |statlabel3=[[Passer rating|QB Rating]] |statvalue3=66.5 |nfl=SAN091667 }} '''Mark Sanchez''' (born November 11, 1986 in {{city-state|Long Beach|California}}) is an American football [[quarterback]] for the [[New York Jets]] of the [[National Football League]]. He was drafted in the first round of the [[2009 NFL Draft]] (fifth player overall, and the second quarterback overall) by the [[New York Jets]]. He played [[college football]] for the [[USC Trojans football|University of Southern California]] (USC). Sanchez was born and raised in [[Southern California]].David Davis, [ Why Do People Have a Problem With OC-Raised USC QB Mark Sanchez Being Proud of His Mexican Heritage?], ''OC Weekly'', August 21, 2008, Accessed August 22, 2008. As a high school quarterback, he was named football player of the year by several major college recruiting services and was considered the top quarterback in the nation coming out of high school in 2005.Stewart Mandel, [ Sanchez expected to continue USC's long line of excellence at QB],, April 18, 2008, Accessed July 31, 2008. He chose to attend USC, where he rose to starting quarterback his [[Redshirt (college sports)|redshirt]] junior season.Gary Klein, [,0,4100083.story Mark Sanchez ready for his big day], ''Los Angeles Times'', August 30, 2008, Accessed September 3, 2008. As a third-generation [[Mexican-American]], Sanchez found himself thrust into the spotlight as a symbol of Mexican-American identity and a role model for children.Kevin Baxter, [,0,752102.story USC's Mark Sanchez has more than pads on his shoulders], ''Los Angeles Times'', December 29, 2008, Accessed January 16, 2009. In his single season as the starting quarterback, Sanchez led the Trojans to a 12–1 season and No. 2 ranking in the [[Coaches Poll]] and No. 3 in the [[AP Poll]], while capturing the [[2009 Rose Bowl]] Offensive [[Most Valuable Player]] award.Gary Klein, [ The Final Polls], ''Los Angeles Times'', January 9, 2009, Accessed January 18, 2009.Gary Klein, [,0,6522720.story USC's Stafon Johnson to return; C.J. Gable might not], ''Los Angeles Times'', January 2, 2009, Accessed January 14, 2009. After initially showing interest in staying for his final season of eligibility, he became the first USC quarterback since [[Todd Marinovich]] after the [[1990 NCAA Division I-A football season|1990 season]] to leave school early to enter to the NFL Draft, although because of his [[Redshirt (college sports)|redshirt]] season he had accumulated sufficient credits to graduate and left the USC campus with a [[bachelor's degree]].Jerry Crowe, [,0,4509502.column Good luck to USC's next quarterback], ''Los Angeles Times'', January 16, 2009, Accessed January 16, 2009. ==Early years== Sanchez attended [[Santa Margarita Catholic High School]] for two years. His first pass attempt in high school, as a sophomore, was a 55-yard touchdown completion. He served as [[ball boy]] for future USC [[Heisman Trophy]] winner [[Carson Palmer]] and future [[Florida State]] Quarterback [[Chris Rix]].David Davis, [ Why Do People Have a Problem With OC-Raised USC QB Mark Sanchez Being Proud of His Mexican Heritage?], ''OC Weekly'', August 21, 2008, Accessed January 16, 2009. He then transferred to [[Mission Viejo High School]] to play for his high school quarterback guru, Bob Johnson; Johnson, father of former USC and NFL quarterback [[Rob Johnson (American football)|Rob Johnson]], was also the private coach for Palmer.Steward Mandel, [ Next in line? Sanchez could be the next great Trojan QB], ''[[Sports Illustrated]]'', January 19, 2005, Accessed July 31, 2008.Gary Klein, [ Call for Backup], ''[[Los Angeles Times]]'', October 12, 2007, Accessed July 31, 2008. At Mission Viejo he threw for 2,600 yards, 29 [[touchdown]]s, and only four [[Interception (football)|interception]]s as a junior. With a 75 percent completion rate, he rushed for 90 yards and had a receiving touchdown on a reverse throwback. Sanchez was named a first team all-league, county, and [[California Interscholastic Federation|CIF]] selection. Sanchez carried a 3.7 [[Grade (education)|GPA]], and was the president of the [[student government]] and [[Captain (sports)|captain]] of the [[basketball]] team. As a senior, Sanchez completed 114 of 186 passes for 1,746 yards, 16 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, leading his team to a division championship. With Sanchez as quarterback, the Mission Viejo Diablos went 27–1. In 2004, Sanchez was named high school "Player of the Year" by several major college [[Recruiting (college athletics)|recruiting]] services; he was considered the top quarterback in the nation coming out of high school in 2005. He participated in the 2005 [[U.S. Army All-American Bowl]]. Sanchez was aggressively recruited by several college programs, including [[University of Texas|Texas]], [[University of Notre Dame|Notre Dame]], [[University of Nebraska|Nebraska]] and [[Ohio State University|Ohio State]]; ultimately he chose USC in the summer before his senior year.Jorge Arangure Jr., [ ¡VIVA SANCHEZ!], ''ESPN The Magazine'', August 11, 2008, Accessed January 16, 2009. Several factors influenced Sanchez decision: he considered Palmer his idol and wanted to follow in his footsteps at USC; the campus allowed him to stay close to his family; and he wanted to play for [[Pete Carroll]], whose system used a sophisticated, pro-style offense that highlights a quarterback's athleticism and decision-making ability. ===Awards and honors=== *2004 ''[[Parade (magazine)|PARADE]]'' [[All-American]] Player of the Year *2004 Super Prep All-American Player of the Year ==College career== ===2005=== Sanchez was well regarded upon his arrival at USC. He did not play during his freshman year, and instead took a [[Redshirt (college sports)|redshirt]] season. During this time he participated as the quarterback of USC's [[scout team]], earning the Trojans' Service Team Offensive Player of the Year Award. ===2006=== [[File:091507-USCNeb-MarkSanchez.jpg|thumb|upright|80px|left|Sanchez in 2007]] For the [[2006 USC Trojans football team|2006 season]], Sanchez competed for the starting position; however, once junior [[John David Booty]] underwent back surgery after the first day of spring practice, Sanchez ran the first-team offense during the spring as Booty recuperated. Coaches stated Booty would be regarded as the starting quarterback when he returned for fall training camp.Gary Klein, [ Call for Backup], ''Los Angeles Times'', October 12, 2007, Accessed July 31, 2008. In April 2006, Sanchez was arrested after a female USC student accused him of [[sexual assault]].Todd Harmonson, [ No charges filed against Sanchez], ''The Orange County Register'', June 3, 2006, Accessed July 31, 2008.Scott Wolf, [ Some Sanchez Background], Daily News Blogs: Scott Wolf inside USC, May 22, 2006, Accessed July 31, 2008. He was released from jail the following day, after posting $200,000 bail, but USC placed him on interim suspension that suspended him from the football team yet permitted him to take his semester finals, albeit separate from the general student body and under the supervision of campus security.[ USC Suspends Football Player Under Investigation],, April 26, 2006, Accessed July 31, 2008. On June 3, 2006, the [[Los Angeles County District Attorney]]'s office announced no charges would be filed against Sanchez due to a "lack of sufficient evidence beyond a reasonable doubt", noting the case was "essentially a 'one-on-one' allegation."[ USC Quarterback Won't Face Sexual Assault Charges], Los Angeles ABC 7, June 3, 2006, Accessed July 31, 2008.[ USC QB Sanchez won't face sexual assault charges], Associated Press, June 3, 2006, Accessed July 31, 2008. The District Attorney's office released the charge evaluation worksheet that said the alleged victim in the case said she consented to kissing and petting on Sanchez's bed, and that she repeatedly refused Sanchez's advances to have intercourse with her but continued the other activities with him when he complied; the woman later spent time with other students without mentioning an incident and later told her mother who reportedly called police later in the morning. The woman involved left the university.Bill Dwyre, [ This USC call should be clear], ''Los Angeles Times'', October 23, 2007, Accessed July 31, 2008. Sanchez was required to take a rape awareness class at USC.Matt Hayes, [ A safe haven, not a Trojan war: USC's QB battle], ''Sporting News'', April 1, 2008, Accessed July 31, 2008. USC reinstated Sanchez but he remained subject to team-related discipline for underage drinking and using fake identification on the night he was arrested. Sanchez had been previously detained but not arrested by USC's Department of Public Safety for allegedly breaking a window at a fraternity party.[ USC Suspends Football Player Under Investigation], [[KNBC]], April 26, 2006, Accessed July 31, 2008. As a redshirt freshman, Sanchez served as the back-up quarterback to Booty, seeing playing time in three games. He passed for 63 yards and no touchdowns with one interception.[ Sanchez will enter NFL draft], Associated Press, January 15, 2009, Accessed January 15, 2009. ===2007=== [[File:2008-0830-USC-UVA-MarkSanchez.jpg|thumb|upright|Sanchez runs off the field after pregame warm-ups before the 2008 season opener at Virginia.]] In fall practice before the [[2007 USC Trojans football team|2007 season]], Sanchez broke the thumb in his throwing hand, missing the first game against [[University of Idaho|Idaho]]; he returned the following week and the redshirt sophomore again served as the primary backup to senior [[John David Booty]]. Mid-season, Sanchez was moved up to starting quarterback for the game against [[Arizona Wildcats football|Arizona]] after Booty suffered a broken finger in his throwing hand during a 24–23 upset loss to [[Stanford Cardinal football|Stanford]].Gary Klein, Call for Backup], ''[[Los Angeles Times]]'', October 12, 2007, Accessed July 31, 2008. On October 13, Sanchez led USC to a 20–13 victory, overcoming a shaky first half where he threw two key interceptions, allowing Arizona to tie the game going into halftime. During the second half, Sanchez completed 11 of 15 passes for 74 yards and a touchdown and had a key 10-yard run for a first down, ultimately finishing the game 19 for 31 passing with 130 yards and averaged 4.2 yards a play for one touchdown, two interceptions, and was [[Quarterback sack|sacked]] three times.Ben Bloch, [ Sanchez overcomes shaky start for USC], ''Los Angeles Times'', October 14, 2007, Accessed July 31, 2008. With Booty still recovering, USC elected to start Sanchez for a second straight week, this time at [[Notre Dame Fighting Irish football|Notre Dame]]; he made significant improvements, completing 21 of 38 passes for 235 yards and four touchdowns and no interceptions.Gary Klein, [ Heroes and zeros for Trojans], ''Los Angeles Times'', October 21, 2007, Accessed July 31, 2008. On October 27, Sanchez started for the final time in place of the injured Booty, at an away game against [[Oregon Ducks football|Oregon]]. The game resulted in a 24–17 defeat for USC, with Sanchez having two passes intercepted by Oregon [[Safety (American football)|safety]] Matthew Harper in the second half. The first interception led to a fourth-quarter touchdown that gave Oregon a 14 point lead; the second interception ended USC's final chance for a comeback.Gary Klein, [ Hope takes holiday], ''Los Angeles Times'', October 28, 2007, Accessed July 31, 2008. He publicly accepted the blame for the loss.Jorge Arangure Jr., [ ¡VIVA SANCHEZ!], ''ESPN The Magazine'', August 11, 2008, Accessed July 31, 2008. (published/accessed discrepancy due to delay between online posting and publication) The following week, against [[Oregon State Beavers football|Oregon State]], Booty returned as USC's starting quarterback, with Sanchez resuming his position as Booty's backup.Gary Klein, [ Booty keeps eyes on what’s next], ''[[Los Angeles Times]]'', November 2, 2008, Accessed July 31, 2008. Sanchez passed for 695 yards and seven touchdowns with five interceptions over the season. ===2008=== [[File:2008-1018-017-MarkSanchez.jpg|left|thumb|upright|Sanchez on the sidelines of a 2008 game.]] Sanchez entered spring practice before the [[2008 USC Trojans football team|2008 season]] as the front-runner to take over the starting quarterback position, but faced strong competition from [[Arkansas Razorbacks|Arkansas]]-transfer and former Razorback starter [[Mitch Mustain]] and redshirt freshman [[Aaron Corp]]; Mustain, like Sanchez a year earlier, was the top quarterback in the nation coming out of high school in 2006.Gary Klein, [ USC plans to have starting quarterback in place by summer], ''Los Angeles Times'', March 26, 2008, Accessed July 31, 2008.Tim Griffin, [ Quarterback battles, defensive replacements key to Pac-10 spring practices],, February 27, 2008, Accessed July 31, 2008.Stewart Mandel, [ Spring primer],, March 6, 2008, Accessed July 31, 2008. By the end of spring practice, the USC coaching staff announced that Sanchez would be the designated starting quarterback going into fall camp.Gary Klein, [ Sanchez gets the nod at USC], ''Los Angeles Times'', April 16, 2008, Accessed July 31, 2008.Josh Jovanelly, [ Sanchez gets nod as starting quarterback], ''Daily Trojan'', April 16, 2008, Accessed July 31, 2008.Cory McCartney, [ Spring's biggest winners and losers],, May 1, 2008, Accessed July 31, 2008.Ted Miller, [ Once anointed as USC QB, Sanchez asserted himself],, July 24, 2008, Accessed July 28, 2008. During the first week of fall camp, Sanchez suffered a dislocated left kneecap while warming up for practice; trainers were able to immediately put the kneecap back into place.Gary Klein, [,0,2472162.story Mark Sanchez's knee injury muddies waters at USC], ''Los Angeles Times'', August 9, 2008, Accessed August 11, 2008. After missing nearly three weeks, Sanchez was cleared to play in the opener against [[University of Virginia|Virginia]] on the final scrimmage of fall camp.Gary Klein, [,0,2265071.story Mitch Mustain, Aaron Corp battle for starting spot], ''Los Angeles Times'', August 10, 2008, Accessed August 11, 2008.Gary Klein, [,0,5692225.story USC quarterback Mark Sanchez has uneven practice, is cleared to play], ''Los Angeles Times'', August 27, 2008, Accessed August 27, 2008. Before the opener, Sanchez was contacted by USC's previous three quarterbacks under Carroll—Palmer, [[Matt Leinart]] and Booty—who wished him well and offered general advice. In the opener at Virginia, Sanchez threw for a career-best 338 yards, making 26 of 35 pass attempts for three touchdowns and one interception.Gary Klein, [,0,4886517.story Mark Sanchez, USC click on all cylinders in victory over Virginia], ''Los Angeles Times'', August 31, 2008, Accessed September 3, 2008. The [[Davey O'Brien Foundation]] named him the O'Brien Quarterback of the Week and his performance garnered early Heisman consideration.[ Sanchez bounces back from pre-season injury in season opener], Davey O'Brien Foundation, September 3, 2008, Accessed September 3, 2008.Gene Menez, [ Despite injury, Beanie Wells stays on top; Tebow, Moreno loom],, September 2, 2008, Accessed September 3, 2008. With Sanchez starting all 13 games at quarterback, the Trojans ended the season 12–1 and ranked No. 2 in the [[Coaches Poll]] and No. 3 in the [[AP Poll]]. Sanchez won the [[2009 Rose Bowl]] Offensive MVP of the game; his 413 passing yards ranked fourth in Trojans history and were the highest since Carson Palmer threw for 425 against Notre Dame in 2002. He finished the season with 34 scoring passes, second in school history behind Matt Leinart's 38 in 2003. Sanchez ended his redshirt junior season with 3,207 yards passing, 34 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. [[File:2008-1206-USC-UCLA-014-RB-Sanchez-band.jpg|thumb|right|Sanchez, holding the sword of the USC drum major, salutes the fans after a victory in his final regular season game at [[UCLA–USC rivalry|rival UCLA]].]] After the Rose Bowl, Sanchez said it would be "hard" to leave USC for the [[NFL]] and "probably couldn't do it; he would have entered his redshirt senior year if he had stayed. However, with the subsequent announcement that other NFL-caliber quarterbacks, such as [[Sam Bradford]], [[Tim Tebow]] and [[Colt McCoy]], had decided to stay in school for their junior and senior seasons respectively, rumors arose that Sanchez would use the opportunity to be one of the first two quarterbacks selected in the [[2009 NFL Draft]].[ Father: Sanchez still undecided],, January 14, 2009, Accessed January 14, 2009.Gary Klein, [,0,687615.story USC's Mark Sanchez appears headed to NFL], ''Los Angeles Times'', January 15, 2009, Accessed January 15, 2009.Brian Matthews, [ Sources: Sanchez Leaning Toward the NFL],, January 14, 2009, Accessed January 14, 2009. On January 15, Sanchez announced his plans to forgo his final year of college eligibility and enter the [[2009 NFL Draft]], although he continued as a USC student and finished his degree in the Spring of 2009 while preparing for the draft.Gary Klein and Mike Hiserman, [,0,1474049.story USC's Mark Sanchez to enter NFL draft], ''Los Angeles Times'', January 16, 2009, Accessed January 16, 2009. During the press conference, Carroll made it clear that he did not agree with Sanchez' decision, and that he advised him of the low success-rate of quarterbacks who left the college game early to enter the NFL, and suggested he attend graduate school to use his final year of collegiate eligibility. Despite the public disagreement, the two remained close afterward.Michael Lev, [ NFL draft: The Mark Sanchez interview (Part 1 of 3)], ''Orange County Register'', February 13, 2009, Accessed February 17, 2009. Sanchez was the first USC quarterback to turn pro before exhausting his eligibility since [[Todd Marinovich]] did so after the 1990 season. ===Awards and honors=== *2008 [[Sports Illustrated]] and [[Pro Football Weekly]] All-American Honorable Mention *2008 First Team All-[[Pac 10]] ==Professional career== ===2009 NFL Draft=== After announcing his intention to leave school early to enter the [[2009 NFL Draft]], Sanchez selected his older brother and business [[litigator]], Nick Sanchez, to be his [[Sports agent|agent]].Rick Reiff, [ Carona’s Celebration; Mark Sanchez’s Agent; Wylie Snaps Dustin], ''Orange County Business Journal'', January 26, 2009, Accessed January 28, 2009. He was one of twelve USC players invited to the 2009 [[NFL Scouting Combine]].Ted Miller, [ Pac-10 NFL combine invitees],, February 2, 2009, Accessed February 2, 2009. Going into the draft, he was ranked as one of the top two quarterbacks, behind fellow junior quarterback [[Matthew Stafford]] out of the [[University of Georgia]]. In the final days leading up to the Draft, several NFL teams began expressing serious interest in Sanchez, including the [[Seattle Seahawks]] (No. 4 pick), [[Cleveland Browns]] (No. 5), [[Washington Redskins]] (No. 13), and [[New York Jets]] (No. 17).Sal Paolantonio, [ Several teams in play for Sanchez],, April 24, 2009, Accessed April 25, 2009. ===New York Jets=== [[File:Mark Sanchez Jets Mini-camp 2009.jpg|thumb|left|Sanchez (red jersey) at a June 2009 New York Jets mini-camp in Florham Park, New Jersey]] Sanchez was selected 5th overall by the Jets in the 2009 NFL Draft, making him the first quarterback selected by the Jets in the first round since [[Chad Pennington]] was picked 18th overall in 2000.{{cite news |first= |last= |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Georgia's Matthew Stafford is the top pick of the 2009 NFL Draft |url=,0,7155830.story |work= |publisher= |date=April 25, 2009 |accessdate=June 11, 2009}} In order to select Sanchez, the Jets made the biggest draft-day trade in their history to move up to the fifth selection.{{cite news |first=Judy |last=Batista |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Jets Trade Up and Draft Sanchez |url= |work=The New York Times |publisher= |date=April 26, 2009 |accessdate=April 26, 2009 }} The pick was lauded at the time it was made as a good value for team and player.{{cite news |first=Don |last=Banks |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Time will prove that USC's Sanchez was top QB of the 2009 draft class |url= | |publisher= |date=April 25, 2009 |accessdate=April 26, 2009 }} On June 10, Sanchez signed a five-year contract with the Jets worth $50 million, with $28 million in guarantees. It is the largest contract the Jets signed with a player in franchise history. He was also the second draft pick signed from the 2009 draft. {{cite news |first= |last= |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Jets reach agreement with QB Sanchez |url= |work=ESPN |publisher= |date=June 10, 2009 |accessdate=June 10, 2009}}{{cite news |first=Greg |last=Bishop |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Jets Reach Contract Agreement With Sanchez |url= |work=New York Times |publisher= |date=June 10, 2009 |accessdate= }} [[File:Mark Sanchez Jets-v-Eagles Sep 3, 2009 - 73.jpg|thumb|right|Sanchez after throwing a pass during the preseason game against the [[Philadelphia Eagles]].]] Heading into into his rookie training camp, Sanchez was listed as the #2 quarterback behind veteran [[Kellen Clemens]]. Jets Head Coach [[Rex Ryan]] noted that he viewed training camp as an open competition between the two for the eventual starting position for the 2009 season.Rich Cimini, [ Jets open Rex Ryan era at SUNY-Cortland], ''New York Daily News'', July 31, 2009, Accessed July 31, 2009. On August 26, 2009 Mark Sanchez was named the starter for the [[New York Jets|Jets]], beating out [[Kellen Clemens]] for the job.[ Chris Mortenson] On [[September 13]], [[2009]], Sanchez started his first regular season NFL game against the [[Houston Texans]], throwing his first touchdown pass to [[Chansi Stuckey]]. Sanchez and the Jets won the game 24-7, with Sanchez throwing for 272 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. He was named the Pepsi Rookie of the Week for his performance in the game. He played his first home game a week later versus the [[New England Patriots]], a 16-9 victory; it was also his first division game and his first rivalry game. It was the Jets first victory over New England at home since 2000. With a 24-17 victory over the [[Tennessee Titans]] in week 3, Sanchez became the first rookie quarterback to start and win his first three games of an NFL season. However, he had a pass picked off for a 97 yard touchdown return, and fumbled another attempted pass in his end zone for another touchdown, as the Jets fell to the [[New Orleans Saints]] in week 4. These two plays were enough to spoil an otherwise great outing from the Jets defensive unit as they dropped to 3-1 on the year. ==Personal== [[File:2008-1101-USC-MarkSanchez.jpg|thumb|left|Sanchez on USC's traditional pregame "Trojan Walk"]] Sanchez is a third-generation [[Mexican-American]]. Sanchez' great-grandfather, Nicholas Sanchez, was born in [[Zacatecas, Zacatecas|Zacatecas]], [[Mexico]]; he later moved to south [[Texas]] and, in 1911, to California's [[Central Valley (California)|Central Valley]] where he and his wife worked as fruit pickers and raised a family of six children. Nicholas Sanchez settled in the Palo Verde section of [[Chávez Ravine]], but was displaced when the government cleared the land for public housing, only to build [[Dodger Stadium]]. Another of Sanchez' great-grandparents, Pedro Moreno of [[Jalisco]], moved to [[Bisbee, Arizona]] and became a successful real estate investor before moving to Los Angeles with his wife and 16 children in 1925. Nicholas Sanchez' son Jorge and Moreno's daughter Juanita married and started a family; Jorge, a [[World War II]] veteran, was an aeronautics technician and the family lived in [[public housing]] until moving to a house in a predominantly [[African-American]] neighborhood in [[South Los Angeles]]. Jorge and Juanita's youngest son, Nick, married Olga, one of the few Mexican-Americans in a Jewish part of [[East Los Angeles, California|East Los Angeles]] and had three children before divorcing when Mark Sanchez was 4; Mark and his brothers stayed with their dad but their mother remained involved in their upbringing and eventually moved back to the same town.Jorge Arangure Jr., [ ¡VIVA SANCHEZ!], ''ESPN The Magazine'', August 11, 2008, Accessed July 31, 2008. His father, Nick, is a [[Firefighter|fire captain]] for the [[Orange County, California|Orange County]] Fire Authority and a member of the national urban search and rescue team. In college, Nick Sanchez played quarterback for [[East Los Angeles College]], was later a sergeant in the [[United States Army]].Gary Klein, [ Sanchez appears likely to get start], ''[[Los Angeles Times]]'', October 10, 2007, Accessed July 31, 2008.Billy Witz, [ A Strong Arm and a Strong Mind], ''The New York Times'', September 12, 2008, Accessed April 26, 2009. Mark Sanchez initially grew up in [[Whittier, California|Whittier]] and [[Pico Rivera, California|Pico Rivera]]; when he was six his father moved with the kids to [[Rancho Santa Margarita, California|Rancho Santa Margarita]], a predominantly [[White people|Caucasian]] neighborhood of Orange County. His father remarried and raised them under firm discipline that called on them to be leaders and communicators.Jorge Arangure Jr., [ ¡VIVA SANCHEZ!], ''ESPN The Magazine'', August 11, 2008, Accessed February 17, 2009. Throughout his childhood and teenage years, Sanchez' father would have him combine athletic and mental training: he would have to dribble a basketball without looking at it while reciting [[multiplication tables]]; practice baseball swings in a [[batting cage]] while answering questions about the [[Periodic_table#Standard_periodic_table|periodic table]] and similar combined drills that his father hoped would develop quick thinking and self-confidence that would guide him in all avenues and not simply sports. His two older brothers both played college football: Nick Jr. attended [[Yale University]] where he played quarterback (1992–94); Brandon attended [[DePauw University]] where he played on the offensive line. Nick Jr. went on to attend the [[University of Southern California Law School|USC Law School]] and is a business attorney; Brandon became a [[mortgage broker]].[ Nick Sanchez], Theodora Oringher Miller & Richman PC, Accessed January 28, 2009. When Mark Sanchez changed high schools, the family moved to a rental house in [[Mission Viejo, California|Mission Viejo]]. In between seasons at USC, Sanchez worked as a [[sous chef]] at Phil Trani's, a Long Beach restaurant. ===Mexican-American identity=== {| class="toccolours" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 2em; font-size: 85%; background:#c6dbf7; color:black; width:30em; max-width: 40%;" cellspacing="5" | style="text-align: left;" | "Some people wanted me to be the Latino quarterback. Some people wanted me to be the USC quarterback who happens to be Latino. [I decided to] just be me and do my best with everything and not try to be something I'm not."
— Mark Sanchez on the challenge of being a role model

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