Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida State Seminoles quarterback Christian Ponder considers entering NFL draft

TALLAHASSEE — Before the season, few would have thrown Florida State QB Christian Ponder's name into the mix of possible early entries into the 2010 NFL draft.

But the redshirt junior, who is in his second season as the Seminoles starter and already has his undergraduate degree, is putting up numbers that might give him name recognition in April and make the draft tough to pass up.

"Obviously after the season, I'll take an evaluation (from the NFL) and see what happens and make a decision after that," he said. "I see myself playing here next year, but we'll see what they say and what happens. There's a chance of either way."

Through eight games, the dual-threat Ponder (who bruised his ribs last weekend and may not be running as frequently or as effectively on Saturday at Clemson) is averaging 327.38 yards of total offense, which is third in Division I-A. His average of 306.63 passing yards is fifth nationally. He's also 13th in passing efficiency. He was named a semifinalist on Wednesday for the Maxwell Award, after making it onto the watch list only last week.

"I think he can do some great things in the future here," offensive coordinator/QB coach Jimbo Fisher said. "They keep talking about the hype and the season he's had, that he'd be a Heisman guy and player of the year (candidate next year). He can be a phenomenal player … and put us back right on top, I really believe that. But if it's best for him to go, I'll be the first one to kick him out the door."

Individual honors would be nice, but it's the possibility for team success that Ponder said is foremost in his mind. Now and, possibly, in the not-too-distant future.

"The biggest thing that would bring me back is we'd have a lot of potential next year as a team; I think we can get to that national championship level," he said, adding that another dozen or so starts in 2010 would only help prepare him better for the NFL.

On that score, FSU coach Bobby Bowden would agree.

"Ponder, to me, is on the verge of being a celebrity and it's according to, does he want to try to climax that college experience or not," said Bowden, who could be back for a final year in 2010 and would like nothing more than the chance to end on a high, something that's more realistic with a veteran QB. "Everette Brown chose not to climax that; he could have been maybe the defensive player of the year. … Knowing him (Ponder), I would think he was leaning on staying no matter what."

Staff changes and recruiting: Now that defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews has officially said he will retire at the end of this season, the Seminoles face the task of replacing him (and possibly other assistants if the new coordinator wants his own guys) and cobbling together a badly needed top-shelf recruiting class.

"We've all been waiting for the domino game to be played; well, here's the first piece," Jamie Newberg, the national recruiting analyst for, said of FSU's expected staff change. "It's got to unfold. In my opinion, the sooner the better for recruiting. … Sure, Florida State could have lost traction with a bunch of guys, but they still have plenty of time to make things up."

Caz update: Senior TE Caz Piurowski, the former Land O'Lakes star who saw his breakout season end last month when he tore the ACL in his right knee, said that last week's surgery went "better than expected" and seems incredibly upbeat.

"There's nothing to be gained by pouting about it," said Piurowski, who will be graduating in December. "I'm going to make the best of the situation and the most of the opportunities in front of me."

Piurowski, who was hearing he could be picked in the top half of the NFL draft, is unlikely to be full speed by the NFL scouting combine Feb. 24 to March 2 in Indianapolis. Given the timetable his doctors gave him, he said he's shooting to work out for individual teams instead.

He said it: "We do want to kind of send him (Andrews) out on top or just send him out on a good note so everything won't be sour. So that is motivation for us; (for) what he means to us and just how much we have learned from him, It's kind of like wanting to do something for him." — Senior S Jamie Robinson on the goal for the rest of the year for the uncharacteristically struggling defense.

Brian Landman can be reached at or (813) 226-3347. Read his blog at

Florida State Seminoles quarterback Christian Ponder considers entering NFL draft 11/04/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 4, 2009 10:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. U.S. repeats as Solheim Cup champion


    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Lexi Thompson set the tone by rallying from four holes down. The rest of the Americans took it from there and restored their dominance in the Solheim Cup

    Lexi Thompson, left, comes back from four holes down to halve the day’s first singles match with Europe’s Anna Nordqvist to set the tone for the United States.
  2. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  3. Bucs journal: Demar Dotson (mild groin strain) expected back for opener


    TAMPA — The Bucs got good news Sunday on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI exam showed only a mild right groin sprain and who should be back at practice next week.

    Tackle Demar Dotson has only a mild groin strain.
  4. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush


    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.
  5. Rays journal: Jake Faria heads to DL with left abdominal strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jacob Faria made the trek he didn't want to take after his last start. It was to the trainer's room. The pain in his left abdominal went from nagging to an issue during his start that night in Toronto.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jacob Faria (34) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 4, 2017.