Ponder Has Two Visits Left

Miami (Fla.) Monsignor Pace standout defensive back Lovon Ponder has already taken two official visits and has two left. "I'm taking the weekend off and then I'll be at UM next weekend," Ponder said.

"That's when a lot of the top local guys will be there, like Willie (Williams). We'll be able to all be there together. Then the last one will be for Oklahoma."

At 6-0 and 185 pounds, Ponder is focusing on basketball and recruiting these days. The reason he won't be visiting anywhere this weekend is because of a big game this Saturday. He's already been on two trips.

"I went to N.C. State and then Georgia," he said. "N.C. State was tight, I had fun there. It was like they had a lot of guys from the Miami area so I was able to fit in pretty well. They have a good situation there, made me feel real comfortable. Georgia was a little different. I just wasn't feelin it too much. NC State was the better visit, I'd say."

Ponder, a full academic qualifier, said while he's still considering some other programs, UM remains the team to beat.

"You know, that's UM," he said. "They've been on me from the beginning back when Coach Stoops was there, they made it known that I was someone they really wanted. Coach Shannon said they're trying to keep all the best players from Miami in Miami and you know how good of a group that would be."

The talented free safety prospect said he sees a good situation with the depth chart at UM as well.

"It's not like I care about too much competition or anything like that," he said. "I do like the situation at UM though. With Sean Taylor and (Mo) Sikes leaving, they have a couple guys coming back that are inexperienced. I think Greg Threat's going to be pretty good. But after that, they got a lot of younger players. I think I can help them out early. I know I'm gonna work real hard."

Ponder plans on making a final decision in early February.

"NC State is right up there too and I might see Oklahoma and really like it," he said. "They're sorta like UM in the way they win so much. But that's kinda far. I'll have to see. Right now, though, I like UM a lot."

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