Sanchez takes the reins as USC's new starting QB

Updated: April 16, 2008, 12:20 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Under coach Pete Carroll, USC Trojans has never entered the summer without appointing the next starting quarterback.

This year is no different, and there was not much of an element of surprise to it. Mark Sanchez, who started three games for the Trojans last season, was the front-runner going into spring workouts, and on Tuesday, it was made official -- he would be the successor to John David Booty.

"The advantage that Mark has had by being around ... just gives him a decisive advantage and he was able to come out here and battle and throw the ball well and play with confidence and give himself the spot," Carroll said in the Los Angeles Times.

Trojans offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian met with each of the contenders, including Mitch Mustain and Aaron Corp, to inform them of the decision.

"At this point, for the good of our football team I like where we're at with Mark," Sarkisian said in The Times.

"He said, 'I just want to give you a little forewarning: You're it, man. You're the guy. You've proven it and we believe in you,'" Sanchez said, grinning.

In past seasons, Carroll inherited Carson Palmer before the 2001 season; Matt Leinart was named the starter just before the spring scrimmage in 2003.

Sanchez felt relief when the announcement was made, a move that now places the burden of running summer workouts on his shoulders.

"I'm really excited," Sanchez said in The Times.. "A lot of hard work paid off and it's just a tremendous honor for me. ... I've got to remember it's an ongoing competition and there's two great competitors behind me and it never ends."