On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to talk to 2011 NFL Draft prospect Christian Ponder. Before discussing exactly what we talked about, I wanted to give you a little background on Ponder, one of the fastest rising prospects on the eve of the NFL's annual rite of passage.
Ponder was a three-year starter for Florida State University. During his career he started 24 of 37 games for the Seminoles, completing 596 of 965 passes (61.76-percent completion percentage) for 6,782 yards and 49 touchdowns.
Like many of the top collegiate quarterbacks of today, Ponder was able to create plays with his legs as he toted the pigskin 296 times for 833 yards and 10 touchdowns. His 7,705 yards of total offense ranks third all-time at Florida State. In 2010, Ponder became the first Seminoles quarterback since Chris Weinke in 1999 to beat both Florida and Miami in the same season.
In the 2011 Under Armour Senior Bowl, Ponder was selected as the game's Most Valuable Player after connecting on 7 out of 13 passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns in leading the South to a 24-10 victory over the heavily-favored North squad.
Pro Football Weekly has described the 6'2", 227-pound former Seminole as "extremely tough-minded and intelligent with terrific intangibles. Above-average arm strength, accurate short. Gets rid of the ball quickly with good timing. Moves well outside the pocket and can extend plays with his feet. Has a gamer mentality with the moxie and grit to command a huddle and win respect in the lockerroom. Has a confident, composed on-field temperament and can rally a team from behind."
Off the field, Ponder is one of the most accomplished student athletes in the nation. He graduated from Florida State after just two-and-a-half years in May of 2008 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance.
He then completed his MBA degree at FSU last May and is currently enrolled in Florida State's graduate program in Sports Management. Not surprisingly, Ponder was the recipient of the James Tatum Award, given to the Atlantic Coast Conference's top football student athlete.
Ponder and I covered a wide range of topics. Here is what we discussed.