Coming out of high school, Mark Sanchez was the nation's top rated quarterback.
Despite leading the Jets to two AFC playoff wins as a rookie plus leading the team to two AFC championships in a row his first two years, Sanchez has become famous more for his unfortunate fumble on Thanksgiving Day 2012 against the Patriots - forever commemorated as the "butt fumble" - than for just about anything else he has done in his football career.
But now the eighth-year veteran has a chance to add big things to his football resume by joining the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos.
And coming to his third team after a two-year stint with the Eagles, says he's ready to do exactly what John Elway told us Sanchez was brought in to do - compete for a starting QB job.
"I'm excited to compete," Sanchez said in his first Broncos presser on Monday. "Just like John Elway said, get in here and compete for the starting job. What a reinvigorating feeling this is. I can't tell you how thrilled and excited I am to be here."
You could probably guess how excited he is, however. Coming from the Eagles where he was 4-6 in the 10 games he started over the past two seasons, Sanchez could do a lot worse than the world champion Denver Broncos.
And while some may be intimidated by that prospect, Sanchez believes his experience on different teams, in major media markets and in big games will help him take on this challenge.
"I feel like that can only help you as you move on in your career, and going into my eighth year, I'm battle tested. I've been through the fire," Sanchez said. "I've seen the highs and the lows of this league. I'm just eager to get started."
Even knowing that he's been brought on mainly just to try and compete for the quarterback job, Sanchez said he won't waste this opportunity.
The quarterback said Elway told him over the phone "Come on, let's go, let's compete," and he thought that was pretty special coming from a player he idolized as a kid.
"I'm not going to let anything slow me down," Sanchez reiterated. "Just work my butt off to make this team better and make whomever I'm competing against better. They'll make me better and the team will benefit."
Talk can be cheap but it never hurts to say the right things, and Sanchez certainly did that on Monday, pointing out that Gary Kubiak's "offense" would be a good fit for him.
"I feel like [the Broncos] put their quarterback in a great situation and that's with the personnel around the quarterback, the defense, the special teams, everything involved," Sanchez said. "I have run a lot of those concepts. I've seen a lot of their stuff on film. That's encouraging, and I think it will be a smooth transition."
One thing Sanchez definitely isn't worried about is following Peyton Manning. After all, Sanchez followed another first ballot Hall-of-Famer when he got to the Jets just after Brett Favre retired.
"To both of those players, and especially Peyton, nobody follows those guys. You don't try and emulate them," Sanchez said, adding that he can't be Peyton Manning but he hopes to learn as much as he can from Manning and the guys who played with him. "You've got to be yourself and work as hard as you can to be the best version of myself and give everything I've got to the team."
Sanchez said Von Miller has already reached out to him as well as Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Sanchez is already making plans to meet up with those guys in the offseason to work on timing and routes.
"I'd like to," Sanchez said, adding they'll figure out time and place and hopefully it unfolds. "I'm game for that."