Ponder(ing) Rutgers after the visit

Cornerback from Trinity Catholic of Ocala, Fla., returned from his trip to Rutgers this weekend to give an update on his recruitment. It was his first trip to the Northeast, and immediately noticed a different style and pace of life. Ponder discussed whether or not he could adjust to such a drastic change. He also talked about where he will visit next week, and when he will make a decision.

Trinity Catholic (Ocala, Fla.) cornerback Dionte Ponder admitted he was overwhelmed by the trip to New York and the size of Rutgers' campus, but he expressed plenty of excitement after returning from his first trip to the school.

Now, he will decide between visiting Middle Tennessee State and Notre Dame next weekend before choosing a college on signing day.

As for Rutgers, one of the things he is waiting for is how he would fit into the Scarlet Knights' plans. He said he discussed it with coach Greg Schiano before leaving from his visit.

"We have a situation where I will know something else later in the week,'' Ponder said. "He's going to let me know how the whole situation plays out.

"He doesn't know how many commitments he is going to have, and he doesn't want to go over (the scholarship limit), so he's going to get a feel for what kids are going to fully commit, and then he's going to let me know from there. He wants to make sure they get the right number.''

Ponder already visited Troy and Cincinnati, and former Bearcats coach Brian Kelly is now recruiting him to Notre Dame.

"I don't know if (Notre Dame) offered me, but if not, they are close to doing it,'' Ponder said. "They're trying to get me on this final visit for this last weekend. Everyone is the same right now. I've got to do a lot of research so on signing day, that will be the big thing, so I can make a decision.''

During his trip to Rutgers, Ponder was hosted by fellow Floridian Jonathan Freeny, but also spent plenty of time with safety Joe Lefeged.

"We pretty much got into the basics of sitting down and talking to some of the teachers of the school, and they helped us figure out what we would want to major in,'' Ponder said. "We toured around and saw different parts of the schools. We had a big tour of the place and saw the recruiting lounge.''

The tour of the campus gave Ponder his first feeling of the size of the school.

"The campus is big,'' Ponder said. "I was like, ‘Wow, will I be able to adjust to all this? Would I be rollin' around, not knowing where I'm going?' It's huge. I was like, ‘Man, I'd get lost.' ‘'

There was also the trip to the ESPN Zone in New York, which the recruits usually enjoy. It was also Ponder's first trip to New York.

"There's a big game room there, play basketball, and you can do pretty much anything you want to do,'' Ponder said. "They've got some football activities, a great restaurant, t.v.'s everywhere with all the ESPN games on.

"Big place. Man, a big place. I was looking like, ‘Gosh, look at all these people, and how fast things are moving here.' Wow, I'm not used to stuff like that down south.''

Despite the perceived vastness, Ponder enjoyed his weekend.

"It was a great time all around,'' he said.


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