Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hispanic QB wants to be with family for draft

USC's Sanchez passes on N.Y. invite for draft
By Sam Farmer, April 13, 2009

Nine pro prospects will be heading to New York for the NFL draft, but USC quarterback Mark Sanchez will not be among them.

Sanchez was invited to attend, his brother said today, but decided against it because he wants to be with family and friends for the April 25-26 draft. He is expected to be among the first 10 players selected; The Times' latest mock draft has him going eighth to Jacksonville.

"Mark's been traveling so much to meet with different teams lately, he didn't feel it was necessary to make the trip to New York," said Nick Sanchez, the quarterback's brother, adding that making the trip would be especially difficult for their 92-year-old grandmother.

He said ESPN cameras might be on hand on draft day to cover Sanchez, who grew up in Orange County and graduated from Mission Viejo High School.

Linebacker Brian Cushing is the only USC player scheduled to be in attendance for the draft at Radio City Music Hall. Also attending are Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford, Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman, Virginia tackle Eugene Monroe, Mississippi tackle Michael Oher, Baylor tackle Jason Smith, Texas Tech receiver Michael Crabtree, Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry and Texas defensive end Brian Orakpo. Nine marks the biggest contingent of draftees since 1996.

Not all of the invitees are newcomers to the draft experience, however. Monroe was in attendance last year, a guest of Virginia teammate Chris Long, who was selected second by St. Louis.


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