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Former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel had 5-star quarterback Mark Sanchez ready to wear the scarlet and gray — that is, until the thought of November snow blew away the Buckeyes’ chances.
“(Coach Tressel) said, ‘Every year we play Michigan right around Thanksgiving. Ten years in a row, great football weather. It’s been snowing every game,’” Sanchez, who grew up in California, recalled during an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show. “And I was like, ‘What?’”
— Dan Patrick Show (@dpshow) February 9, 2022
“I looked at my dad, I was like, ‘What did he say?’” Sanchez remembered. “I was like, ‘Snow? We gotta drive to Big Bear for snow.’ I was like, ‘I’m out.’ That really just changed by mind right there.”
“We were in the Horseshoe (Ohio State’s stadium). I had an Ohio State jersey, my highlights up on the (scoreboard),” Sanchez told Patrick. “They audio dubbed Keith Jackson’s voice over (his highlights), and it was supposed to be like the Rose Bowl. And they were showing my highlights on this (scoreboard). And I was like, ‘I’m a Buckeye. Done deal.’”
But then Tressel brought up Jack Frost’s yearly visit to Columbus, and Sanchez’s desire to stay in balmy California just snowballed from there.
The quarterback ultimately signed with USC, a decision which worked out for all parties involved. Quarterback Troy Smith won the Heisman for Ohio State in 2006, Sanchez’s redshirt freshman season, and the Buckeyes appeared in the National Championship two seasons later. Meanwhile, Sanchez started for the Trojans in 2008, just one season, but he made it count. USC went 12-1 and Sanchez flirted with a number of school passing records. He was then selected fifth overall in the 2009 Draft.
Should current coaches Lincoln Riley and Ryan Day ever find themselves in a similar recruiting battle, don’t be surprised to hear Riley belt out “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”
Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF