Sept. 21, 2010
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder’s good deeds on the football field are well-recognized. Now the fifth-year senior leader of the Seminoles is recognized as one of the nation’s elite student-athletes for his quiet but significant commitment to community service.
The Allstate Insurance Company and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) have selected Ponder to its 2010 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, one of 11 players from Football Bowl Subdivision programs.
“By shining a spotlight on college football student-athletes who demonstrate a unique commitment to serving their communities, we are protecting the integrity of the sport and showcasing its positive impact that extends well beyond the field of play,” said Allstate vice president Guy Hill.
Ponder was selected from an initial field of 112 football players across all collegiate levels of the sport; the largest number of nominees in the 19-year history of the award. From the nominations, 22 student-athletes were recognized by a special selection committee on two 11-member teams, one each representing college football’s highest and lower levels of competition.
Serving the community has always been important to Ponder.
“If you look at how much the community supported us, growing up and especially here at Florida State, it’s our job to go out and support them,” said Ponder, who leads all FSU football players in community service hours. “A lot of people don’t have the opportunities we have. I see it almost as an obligation to go out and help others and share the resources we’ve been given by everybody else.”
Ponder was humbled by his selection.
“The history of the award definitely means it’s an honor to be chosen,” Ponder said. “It’s already a reward just doing what we’ve done, but it’s an honor to be chosen.”
Ponder’s dedication to community service spans a wide range. He has recently added the Leon County Animal Shelter and American Red Cross to a list which includes: Children’s Home Society; Tobacco Free Florida, United Way of the Big Bend, Dick Howser Center for Childhood Services, Haiti Earthquake Relief, Children’s Miracle Network, Tallahassee Mayor’s Reading Initiative, Stomp Out Type 2 Diabetes, American Cancer Society Relay for Life, Tallahassee Boy’s Town, Tallahassee Miracle League and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
“Reading about all the community service activities and of the field accomplishments of the 22 members of this year’s Allstate AFCA Good Works Team is humbling,” said AFCA Executive Director Executive Director Grant Teaff. “Even at a young age, they get what is really important in life, and they represent thousands of college football players across the nation that are doing the same things on campus and in their hometowns.”
Beyond his play on the field and service in the community, Ponder has set a high standard for his academic achievement. He is the only active FBS player in the country in the country who already holds his MBA and is currently pursuing a second graduate degree in Sports Management.
For the first time in the history of the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team program, fans will be able to vote for a team captain by visiting ESPN.com and searching “Good Works.” The team captain will be recognized by ESPN personality and Allstate AFCA Good Works Team national ambassador Lou Holtz during the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards on Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. on ESPN.