NoleDigest: How are summer workouts going so far?
Christian Ponder: They've been going well. I know you guys hear it every year, but I really feel that this group is a lot further along this time than we were last summer. I know we are definitely looking to be in a lot better shape right now. I think this time last year, on running days, we were doing about 18 gasers. Right now we are up to about 22 gasers and nobody is really struggling with it. Everyone seems to be holding up well, so the condition aspect has really looked good for the team so far.
ND: Talk specifically about 7 on 7 drills. How they are going and who's standing out the most.
CP: Well, we've changed it up a little this year. This is the first time, since I've been here, that we have started to keep score during the drills. Keeping score has really made it a lot more competitive, which is something I really like. The loser usually has to run some extra gasers or something so everyone is definitely looking to win every time out.
As far as who has been standing out, Richard Goodman has been out there and looks really good. I think he is finally 100% healthy and it's really showing. He's running great routes, looks faster and just like a new receiver all together. He just ran a 4.3 in our 40 yard dash testing which I think surprised some people. Another guy who has stood out is Jermaine Thomas. He really looks like he gets it now. He has been working really hard and just knows what he is doing out there and he looks really good. Also, Jarmon Fortson has looked really good. He is just so big and fast that I think he will give guys fits this year. As for the defense, Jajuan Harley has been out there with us and he has really impressed me. He is just so big, fast and strong that you wouldn't think he is a freshman.
ND: Staying on topic with the receivers, they have really had some issues over the past year. Have you noticed any differences with them during the summer and has anyone looked to step up into a leadership role?
CP: I really have noticed a difference with them. One thing that I like, is that they are hanging out with each other a lot more away from football. They are just spending more time with each other and really making sure everyone is doing what they need to be. As far as taking a leadership role, Louis Givens has really been vocal and standing out among the group. Also, Bert Reed and Rod Owens have been showing more maturity leading the group.
NoleDigest will have the next installment of our interview of Christian Ponder coming soon.
Catching up with Christian Ponder: Part I
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