Ponder in a Battle with Reddick

The most heated position battle taking place this spring and that will carry over into next season is the safety battle between juniors Lovon Ponder and Anthony Reddick.

Last season, Lovon Ponder started nine games for UM finishing the year with 53 tackles, one forced fumble, and one interception.

Anthony Reddick played in six games last season, but was recovering from a torn ACL and was hampered most of the season by injuries. As a freshman in 2004, Reddick finished with 73 tackles and one interception.

According to Ponder, the competition for the starting safety spot has been intense.

"I am working myself pretty hard the spring in a heavy battle with Reddick for the starting position," Ponder said. "My mindset is to just come out and play my game and keep this defense going strong."

Ponder, who also threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Sam Shields last season versus North Carolina, talked about what he has improved this spring.

"This spring I have improved my communication skills. Getting the defense in the right checks. I still need to work on my tackling a little bit and my footwork that is all."

"Next season I just want to come out and make my defense better. I want to play hard and get this defense back at the top where it belongs."

With a shortage of healthy defensive backs this spring, Ponder believes the extra work has helped him get better from a mental standpoint, "It is really just a matter of fact of pushing yourself and getting through a practice."

David Lake can be reached at lake@canestime.com

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