Vikings' Ponder Aims to Start

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Christian Ponder's intelligence level has been a frequent topic of conversation since the Vikings caused a stir by making the quarterback their first-round pick on Thursday. Ponder earned his undergraduate degree in 2 1/2 years at Florida State and had his master's degree before he started his senior year.

Certainly this type of intellect means that Ponder realizes the potential benefits of spending time next season learning behind a veteran quarterback. Right? Ah, not exactly.

"Obviously, you can see the advantage of that, but my goal is to start right away," Ponder said Friday at Winter Park after his introductory news conference. "I think that is anyone's [goal]. Maybe someone wants to sit back and learn a little bit, but I'm going to prepare myself that way and I know that it's really what I do leading up to that point that's going to determine my success...

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