Junior to Watch: Levon Ponder
School: Miami (Fla.) Monsignor Pace HS
Position: Defensive Back
Size and speed: Ponder is 6-foot-1, weighs 190 pounds and runs the 40-yard dash in 4.45 seconds.
Statistics: As a junior, he recorded 90 tackles and seven interceptions.
Honors: Was selected third team Class 3A all-state by the FSWA.
Favorite Schools: Miami, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech.
Skinny: One of the finest two-sport athletes in south Florida is Monsignor Pace’s Levon Ponder, who not only carries all-state status on the football field, but also was named tournament MVP in leading the Spartans to the Class 3A state basketball championship.
“I think Levon will be one of the better recruits in the state, if not the nation,” Pace coach Joe Zaccheo said. “He’s started in football and basketball since he was a freshman, he’s a star in both sports, and he carries a 4.0 GPA. I don’t think I’ve been around a finer kid.”
Ponder should receive scholarship looks in both sports, but Zaccheo said football will be his bread and butter.
“Levon as the potential to be a great defensive back,” he said. “I see him as more of a safety, but he’s got consistent speed between 4.4 and 4.5 and great hips, great acceleration, so he may be able to play corner as well.
“He’s just a great athlete who can really run, jump out of the gym, has fantastic hands and will come up and knock your jock off.”
Ponder has received heavy interest already from Miami, Florida, Florida State, Penn State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Stanford and Central Florida. The hometown Hurricanes may have the early edge, but Zaccheo said Ponder is simply enjoying all the widespread attention at this point.
The Pace star received an invitation to attend the Nike combine at Miami, but Zaccheo said he didn’t know if he was going to participate. His summer camp plans are also unclear due to his basketball schedule.