Background and college
Born November 11, 1986 in Long Beach, California, 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. While at Santa Margarita, he served as ball boy for future USC Heisman Trophy winner and future NFL quarterback Carson Palmer. 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, was also the private coach for Palmer. At Mission Viejo he threw for 2,600 yards, 29 touchdowns, and only four interceptions 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 CIF selection. Sanchez carried a 3.7 GPA, and was the president of the student government and 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 state championship. With Sanchez as quarterback, the Mission Viejo Diablos went 27–1.
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