After a tremendous Rose Bowl performance, and a moment to shine in the national spotlight, Mark Sanchez had a difficult decision to make. Does he remain in school for his senior season or dive into the riches of the NFL? As a projected first round selection, one thing would make the choice easier, and that was another decision in Norman Oklahoma by Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford. As the news began pouring in that Bradford had chosen to stay in school, the thought of USC losing Mark Sanchez appeared a foregone conclusion. And as quickly as ESPN was informing the sports world of the Oklahoma quarterback's choice, is as quickly as they followed with reports of Sanchez foregoing his senior year to enter the NFL draft.
Scouts have flip-flopped on the placement of Mark Sanchez. Some had him second behind Sam Bradford, while others pegged Georgia's Matthew Stafford as the top choice. With Bradford removed from the equation, Sanchez' decision was obvious. He's now guaranteed a first round selection and could possibly be the first quarterback taken in the 2009 draft. Returning to school couldn't possibly lift his draft stock any higher than it is today, so why not latch on to your NFL dream? Matt Leinart returned to USC after his Heisman winning season, with his NFL stock at its peak, and that stock declined the following year.
Once Sanchez makes his formal announcement, he will become the 5th Trojans quarterback to enter the NFL in the past 7 years, joining Carson Palmer, Matt Cassel, Matt Leinart, and John David Booty. Tailback U? Not anymore.