Ziemba's Watching

In his weekly recruiting column for Hawgs Illustrated and The Morning News of Northwest Arkansas, Dudley E. Dawson chats with Rogers' offensive lineman Lee Ziemba (6-7, 295), who spent a day last week watching film with UA offensive line coach Mike Markuson and took in the Razorbacks' first spring practice on Monday. This story is sponsored by the Arkansas Toyota Dealers. It's free and so is a special offer to attend a Razorback event on the Arkansas Toyota Dealers website.

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A lot of area kids had spring break last week, but probably only one of them spent time with University of Arkansas offensive line coach Mike Marksuon and also got an offer from USC.

That would be Rogers standout Lee Ziemba (6-7, 295), the state's most highly regarded offensive lineman, someone who made one publication's junior All-American squad and who already has six offers.

"It was an interesting week," said Ziemba, who took in Monday's first day of spring practice at Arkansas. "I feel very honored by all of this attention."

Ziemba was sitting around one day last week when he got a text message from Markuson.

"He said he was just sitting around at home bored on spring break , thinking what a great Razorback I would be and I told him I was bored as well and why don't we go up and watch some film or something," Ziemba said. "He thought that sounded great so I met him up there and we watched some film and went over some techniques and stuff."

It's clear that Marksuon has made a great impression on someone he no doubt would love to be the headliner of a 2007 offensive line recruiting haul.

"To me Coach Markuson is one of the greatest teachers in college football and I love spending time with him just learning new things and soaking it all in," Ziemba said. "He has made a lasting impression on me. I think I could learn so much from him. It seems like he knows where to teach, where to push and what to do to make you the best offensive lineman he could be."

Markuson and Ziemba watched film for former Arkansas offensive line great Sean Andrews, who is now with the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles.

"It was a great time and I learned a lot from watching that and listening to Coach Markuson," Ziemba said. "He also gave me some pointers that I think will help me on my run blocking, even though we don't do that as much at Rogers as a lot of places might."

There are many fans wondering what Arkansas' new offense is going to be like this season with the addition of former Springdale head coach Gus Malzahn as the offensive coordinator and former NFL assistant Alex Wood as quarterbacks coach.

"I actually got to see Coach Malzahn's playbook - his Springdale one - and it's all very interesting and exciting," Ziemba said. "I think they are really going to have a much more balanced offense this season. If I would was guessing I would say it would be 60-40 rushing to passing. When you have guys like (current Razorback tailbacks) Darren McFadden and Felix Jones, you would be nuts to get away too much from running the ball."

Arkansas joins USC, Auburn, Texas Tech, Ole Miss, Mississippi State as schools who have already offered Ziemba with Florida, Notre Dame and Clemson also showing a lot of interest.

"Arkansas is right up there at the top for me," Ziemba said. "They have a lot of great things to offer and I think they are going to be really good very soon."

USC has been really good lately and thus the Trojans' offer - while not surprising - was a very pleasing thing for Ziemba.

It came after he got a text message from a USC assistant that asked him to call.

"I feel very honored and blessed that they would give me an offer and it is a very prestigious school academically as well as athletically," Ziemba. "I was pretty excited about it and I am looking forward to going out there this summer and checking it out and seeing if it is the kind of place for me."

Ziemba has plans to take unofficial visits to several places this spring and summer with a idea of possibly choosing a college before his senior season starts.

"I would like to get all my visits out of the way and see what I really like about each place and then I would love to make a decision by the end of the summer," Ziemba said. "If it doesn't work out like that, well, I would take more time, but that's what I want to do is have it out of my way and just have a great senior season for the Mounties."

Ironically, he will get a chance to see both Arkansas and USC up close when the two teams square off at Reynolds Razorback Stadium in the season opener for both teams.

Asked who he would be rooting for in that game, Ziemba hedged a bit.

"Hey, I always root for the underdog," Ziemba said. "That's just how I am."

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