At 5-foot-10, 170 pounds, Ocala (Fla.) Trinity Catholic athlete Dionte Ponder has the ability to play at any number of major football programs throughout the southeast. Recently, he picked up his first offer and it is one that has offered him more than just football opportunities.
"I only have one offer from Duke but the other colleges have been sending me letters and stuff and saying they want to see me," Ponder said. "I got Duke probably about a month or so go. I was surprised. I was looking forward to getting an offer but I didn't thin that it would be that soon and that that kind of school would come down."
The more Ponder has found out about the Duke program, the more he has been impressed with what it has to offer, particularly on the academic side.
"I am interested," he said. "All of my teachers have been saying that they're one of the best academic programs you can have. They're saying if you graduate from that school you can get any kind of job you want."
Along with Duke, Ponder has been hearing from South Carolina, UCF, South Florida and Cincinnati. He claims that he is open to going to any school, regardless of location.
For Trinity Catholic, Ponder played both defensive back and wide receiver. On the next level, most schools see him as a cornerback.
"Yeah, I gotta go along with that now," Ponder said about the future at defensive back. "That's what it seems like I've been recruited for. I'm working hard and making the best of it. I can jam pretty well and I have good recovery speed."
Currently, Ponder has been busy with AAU basketball but has also had the chance to visit some schools and attend some camps.
"I went to UCF and USF and Florida's junior days," he said. "Out of all of them I thought South Florida was the best. They really seem like they wanted to have more players come. South Florida we talked to the coaches a lot and got a chance to talk to some of the players and the players were teaching us about how it was going. We got to see a basketball game and I just liked it.
"I think UCF has another junior day coming up and I'm trying to see if I can make that one."
Ponder also has a couple of schools that he would like to see added to his offer list.
"Auburn and UCF, they were like my top two before Duke came into the picture," he said. "They're in the mix. They're showing a lot of interest."