USC Gamecocks Football

Ponder good to go for Seminoles

Christian Ponder is the likely starter at quarterback for Florida State.

He was given the thumbs up from head coach Jimbo Fisher at Tuesday’s news conference.

“He looked good for two days, made all the throws and did all the things he needed to do,” Fisher said of his senior quarterback. “There’s been no swelling, no repercussion. His body is more sore than his elbow is because he’s been sitting on his tail for a month and hasn’t been doing much.”

Ponder had his right (throwing) elbow drained of fluid at the conclusion of the regular season and did not play in Florida State’s ACC Championship Game loss to Virginia Tech. E.J. Manuel played in that game, completing 23 of 31 passes for 288 yards and a touchdown.

Fisher said a decision has not been made on playing time for the two.

“We’ll make that assessment here in the next couple of days, and I’ll set them both down and tell them what we’re going to do,” Fisher said. “But I wanted to wait and see how the wear and tear of practice affected (Ponder).”

Speaker Bowden

Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden addressed both teams and several hundred other spectators Tuesday morning at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes breakfast event, urging the players to be role models.

“Our nation is hurting,” Bowden said. “Our nation is declining morally. We know we are declining economically. We really need somebody to help us, don’t we?”

Bowden agreed to the speaking engagement six months ago, he said, before he knew he would be addressing his former rival in Spurrier and the man who replaced him after he was forced out at Florida State, Jimbo Fisher.

Since leaving Florida State, Bowden has filled his time with speaking engagements, he said. He will speak at the Gator, Fiesta and Orange bowls in the next week.