Mark Travis John Sanchez (born November 11, 1986) is a former American football quarterback. He played college football at the University of Southern California (USC), and was drafted by the New York Jets in the first round (fifth overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft. A backup quarterback during his first three years at USC, Sanchez rose to prominence in 2007 due to injuries suffered by starting quarterback John David Booty; he also became popular within the community due to his Mexican-American heritage. He was named the starter in 2008, and led USC to a 12–1 record and won the Rose Bowl against Penn State. Although USC coach Pete Carroll and many scouts considered him too inexperienced, Sanchez entered the 2009 NFL Draft and was selected by the Jets in the first round.
Despite a subpar first season, Sanchez led the Jets to the AFC Championship Game, a losing effort to the Indianapolis Colts, becoming the fourth rookie quarterback in NFL history to win his first playoff game and the second to win two playoff games. In his second season, Sanchez again led the Jets to the AFC Championship Game, losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers; he joined Ben Roethlisberger as the only two quarterbacks in NFL history to reach the conference championship in their first two seasons in the league.