Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tudor's Take: Fla. State pushes QB Ponder for Heisman

Since the timing’s rarely wrong to play make believe, give the Florida State football promotions department credit for getting a jump start on some serious wishing thinking this spring.

With Christian Ponder apparently healed from a shoulder injury that ended his 2009 season early, the Seminoles are suggesting the senior quarterback for preseason Heisman Trophy candidates list.

Never mind that Ponder didn’t make first- or second-team All-ACC last season and had a modest touchdown pass total of 14 (against seven interceptions) in nine games.
Expectations are high in Tallahassee for Jimbo Fisher’s first season as head coach and the ACC Atlantic Division looks invitingly soft on paper.

So what the heck, why not?

The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Texan is game for the extra exposure and hardly anyone remembers the 13 interceptions (14 TDs) he threw in 2008.

"It’s [Heisman] something every kid dreams of," Ponder told The Tallahassee Democrat newspaper. "To be placed in the same sentence with the Heisman Trophy is pretty amazing to me .. It's honestly a dream come true. As a kid, it's something I always wanted."

The Seminoles have had two Heisman winners at quarterback -- Charlie Ward in 1993 and Chris Weinke in 2000.

Since Weinke, the program hasn’t produced so much as a first-team all-ACC pick at the position, and Ponder is little more than an even money (if that) to end the drought in 2010. In preseason all-league voting, he’s likely to finish behind last season’s selection -- Georgia Tech’s Josh Nesbitt -- and N.C. State’s Russell Wilson.

If all goes as expected, Ponder should get off to an impressive statistical start when the Seminoles open their schedule on Sept. 4 against Samford. It’s the following game that be a big problem on the Heisman trail -- at Oklahoma on Sept. 11.

-- Caulton Tudor


Anonymous said...

Tudor cherrypicked Ponder's stats from last season. He was one of the national leaders in total offense before he got hurt towards the end of the season. He's twice the player that Nesbitt or Wilson is. I agree Heisman will be tough, but he's a legit darkhorse candidate, especially if the Noles can somehow win 8-9-10 games. Good call, though, on the Oklahoma game. Big game--and a win--there, and Ponder enters the national conversation.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. Ponder is a legitimate All American candidate. Don't what kind of HFC Fisher will be, but there is no doubt he does great work with QBs. Key games for Ponder: @ Oklahoma, @ Miami, Florida. If FSU wins those three, plus the ACC title, Ponder should garner an invite to NYC.

Anonymous said...

twice the player Russell Wilson is? wow...

Ponder is good but wow...

Anonymous said...

Oklahoma - L
Miami - L
Florida - L

Add in two more losses from the group of UNC, NC State, Clemson, and Wake, and you have yet another 7-5 season for the Criminoles.