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Posted by Mike Wobschall on April 29, 2011 – 11:37 am
On Thursday morning I woke up 14 hours before the start of the 2011 NFL Draft unsure of whom the Vikings would select with their 1st-round pick. Just a few hours into Friday morning, though, I not only knew who the Vikings selected at #12, I also met him at the airport and welcomed him to Minnesota while riding back to Winter Park.
Vikings Entertainment Network, with the help of Paul Martin and the Vikings operations staff, was there to swoop Ponder up at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport late Friday morning and deliver him to Winter Park, where the QB met with the Vikings coaching and personnel staff. VEN Videographer Jordan Struck was there to record all the action, and we’ll have an entertaining and informative piece about Ponder up on the site momentarily.
Ponder arrived right on time at MSP and was promptly met by representatives from Brooks Brothers, so he could try on a suit coat and tie for his press conference later today. After a quick fitting and the selection of a purple and white-striped tie, Ponder and the VEN clan headed back to the limo for a ride back to Winter Park.
Inside the limo on the way back, we had a chat with Ponder about his time at Florida State, the draft-day experience and phone conversations with Frazier and Spielman, his thoughts on living in Minnesota, why he’s so driven to do well in school and pursue advanced education, what charities he wants to support while with the Vikings and some of his other interests and hobbies.
Ponder even took the time to call in to AM 1130 KFAN and join Paul Allen’s 9-noon radio show. It was a great trip with Ponder and I could clearly see that he’ll be a good fit in Minnesota. He never once seemed impatient with the suit fitting or with having to wear a microphone for the VEN piece. He was smiling a lot and was enthusiastic about being in Minnesota. He wasn’t checking his cell phone constantly and there were no awkward silences in the car. He was thoroughly happy to be chosen by the Vikings and I think he’s going to win a lot of fans over very quickly.