Report: Ponder engaged to Samantha Steele

Christian Ponder (Marilyn Indahl/USP)

Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder is reportedly engaged to ESPN reporter Samantha Steele.

Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder is reportedly engaged to ESPN college football reporter Samantha Steele.

The rumor started circulating Tuesday morning, and Sports Illustrated reporter Richard Deitsch tweeted that he confirmed the news with Steele.

Ponder admitted in October that he was dating Steele and seemed surprised at how many inquiries he was getting when that news broke.

"I'm proud of the relationship. I can brag. I have bragging rights, I believe," Ponder said in October.

At the time, the two had been dating for at least a month, but Ponder admitted they were trying to keep the relationship private.

"She's been coming up here a lot. We're trying to make the best of it," Ponder said of their busy overlapping fall schedules with football obligations. "Obviously we're both busy at the same time so we don't get to see each other that much, but at least one person isn't feeling guilty about not making the effort to do it. We kind of have the same schedule in the offseason, so that will be good."

Ponder said his offensive linemen had been teasing him, calling him "Mr. Steele."

"It kind of comes with the territory, I guess," he said. "Still try to keep private as much of my private life as possible, but some things you can't hide, but I'm used to it."

Ponder joked that he kind of stalked Steele, but the two knew each other since around training camp, according to tight end Kyle Rudolph, one of Ponder's best friends on the team.

"He definitely outkicked his coverage. No question about it," Rudolph joked after Ponder admitted to dating Steele in October.

"They are both extremely driven and successful people. You look at her career and what she's done to make her way up to being one of the main college football reporters and then take Christian, for example, somebody who has been very driven and goal-oriented throughout his entire life."


Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.


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