RECRUITING: Miami safety looking at Sooners

Sooners could get fifth visit from Florida safety Lovon Ponder.


Ponder started the season as somewhat of a sleeper in the state of Florida, but after another banner season a number of college coaches are camping on his doorstep. Ponder started as a freshman and is a four-year starter at free safety and strong safety.

"I really like to play free safety a little more than strong," said Ponder. "At free safety I get to roam around a little bit more and I get to play the ball more than at strong safety. I consider myself a ballhawk and I can take advantage of my skills better at free safety."

Ponder has made 97 tackles and four interceptions thus far this season on an 8-3 team that is into the second round of the playoffs. Ponder can bench 255 pounds, squats 330 and he is a three-year starter in hoops at shooting guard averaging 18 ppg and leading his team to the state title a year ago while drawing some interest from Alabama and Clemson in hoops.

However, Ponder wants to play football and he is still trying to decide on a solid five.

"My top school is Miami then Florida State, Georgia and North Carolina State," said Ponder. "I heard from Oklahoma and Notre Dame today and I am trying to decide between those two schools for my fifth visit. Right now I am leaning towards Oklahoma.

"Oklahoma produces a lot of defensive backs for the pros and they have a great defensive coaching staff. I like talking to both Stoops brothers and every year Oklahoma is ranked high on defense. Even Mark Stoops, who coaches at Miami, says good things about Oklahoma.

"Miami is very close to home and I know a lot of people who went to Miami's program and they say it is the real deal. Plus, if I went to Miami my mom would have an easier time watching me play and it would feel like home."

So is Ponder a lock to stay in Florida?

"I can leave the state, but it is all going to depend on my visit," said Ponder. "Sometimes I think it would be better for me to leave the state and experience some other parts of the country. Then again, Miami is basically home and that would be great for me as well. I could leave the state if that is what I decide to do."

Ponder has qualified.

Lovon Ponder

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories