"This has been a very difficult decision, one of the toughest of my life, that's for sure," Sanchez said. "I've toiled over it for a few days now, but in the end after sleepless nights and lots of prayer I have decided that I will forgo a fifth year at USC and declare my eligibility for the 2009 NFL Draft."
This season, Sanchez completed 241-of-366 passes for 3,207 yards with 34 touchdowns and tossed four touchdown passes in USC's 38-24 Rose Bowl win over Penn State.
"This is a big moment for Mark Sanchez," USC Coach Pete Carroll said. "I'm thrilled for Mark because he's excited about it. Mark is going against the grain on this decision. He knows that. He knows that coming out early is a tremendous challenge for a quarterback."