Ziemba's Tour

In his weekly recruiting column for Hawgs Illustrated and The Morning News of Northwest Arkansas, Dudley E. Dawson catches up with Rogers offensive lineman Lee Ziemba (6-7, 295, 5.1) and Fort Smith Northside quarterback Kodi Burns (6-2, 190, 4.57) - two players nearing decisions - and several other of the state's top prospects.

Before the University of Arkansas takes the field on Sept. 2 to host USC to gauge where the Razorbacks are in the present, we should also have a pretty good grasp on the direction of the future.

That's because both Rogers offensive lineman Lee Ziemba (6-7, 295) and Fort Smith Northside quarterback Kodi Burns (6-2, 190, 4.57) said Sunday night that they will likely have announced their college choices by the time the kickoff of that much-anticipated contest rolls around.

Arkansas – which already has eight commitments in its 2007 class (six more than it did as this time last summer) – should also know the fate of some other recruits, several of whom will be among the 200 or so on campus this weekend for the Seniors Camp Friday night and Saturday morning although Ziemba and Burns will not be among them.

Ziemba – a preseason All-American pick – will squeeze in two more visits before he makes a decision. He is headed to Oklahoma this weekend and then Auburn the following weekend.

He has also visited places such as Notre Dame, Michigan and Ole Miss, but says he isn't planning on narrowing his list down to a few finalists and will just go straight from having 15 offers to naming the school at which he will play his college football.

"I'm just thinking I should know something before our (Rogers') season starts and will just announce where I am going," Ziemba said.

Arkansas fans certainly would appear to have reasons to be excited about the possibility of Ziemba – who has been in constant contact with UA offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn and offensive line coach Mike Markuson - casting his lot with the Razorbacks.

"I talked to Coach Malzahn or Coach Markuson about every day," Ziemba said. "I just call them up to talk about things. Arkansas is stacking up really high with me right now. I think very highly of (UA head) Coach (Houston) Nutt, think Arkansas has a lot of good young talent in place and am just very excited about the future at Arkansas."

Arkansas would certainly love to add Ziemba to a offensive line haul that has already included commitments from Monticello center Seth Oxner (6-5, 290), Harrison's Wade Grayson (6-4, 265) and Jonesboro's Grant Cook (6-6, 280).

"They are really getting some really good offensive linemen to go along with the outstanding backs and other players they already have," Ziemba said in an earlier interview. "That certainly has my attention."

It was thought early on that Auburn might be the team to beat in the sweepstakes for Ziemba because of his dad having gone to college there and the prospect himself having spent plenty of time around the campus.

He will visit them the Tigers one more time before making a decision and will take along Rogers quarterback Cody Kirby, an up-and-coming quarterback who has made a name for himself this summer in 7-on-7 competition.

"I'm very excited about the way Cody has played this summer and he is like my best friend in the world," Ziemba said. "I am proud of the way he has worked his butt off this summer and he has helped push me when we are running together and stuff like that. I have a lot of trust in him and know that he is going to get the job down back there if I take care of my job up front."

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Burns went on a whirlwind tour that included unofficial trips to Arkansas, Ole Miss and Auburn all in the same weekend and says he will be back on the UA campus this week before leaving for an AAU basketball tournament in Las Vegas.

The trio of trips and the constant call of coaches and media has left him ready to move his decision up from mid-season until before the season.

"This is getting kind of boring and tiresome and I am ready to get it over with and just look forward to the season," Burns said. "I know it is either going to be Arkansas or Auburn, that's for sure." Burns, who has passed for over 4,000 yards and run for just under 2,000 in the last two years, said his trip to Arkansas last Thursday left him feeling as good as ever about the Razorbacks. "My visit up to Arkansas last week went great," Burns said. "It was the best one I have ever had up there and I really liked what the coaches had to say. I really was happy with their plans for the future and how I would fit in."

His trip Friday to Ole Miss did not go as well.

""I just really didn't like it at all," Burns said. "The town was really small and I just don't think their coaches would be a good fit for me. There are some campuses you can just go on and know they are not the place for you and that was the case with me at Ole Miss."

But his trek to Auburn on Friday was a positive one.

""I really enjoyed the visit and their campus and talking with their coaches," Burns said. "They stressed to me that I could get a great education there and it is somewhere that the starting quarterback would be a senior when I got there. They are telling me that they have no one there or coming that would be a dual pass-run threat like I am."

Obviously the Auburn coaches were forced to address the story from the New York Times this weekend that alleged possible academic improprieties at the school.

"They talked to me about it," Burns said. "They said that they have done nothing wrong and nothing that the school or guys like Cadillac (former Auburn star Carnell Williams) did wrong. They said it is just a matter of somebody trying to bring them down because they went 13-0 a couple of years ago."

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Recruiting tidbits:

…Central Arkansas Christian tight end David Williams said Sunday night that he has plans to wait until the season before announcing a decision between Arkansas, Oklahoma State and Kansas State.

"I just want to see if they are really going to throw the ball to tight end like they say thay are going to do," Williams said of Arkansas.

…Morrilton cornerback/wideout Josh Trezvant has recently received offers from Duke and Stanford and hopes to have one from Arkansas by the end of his participation in the Seniors Camp this weekend.

…Pulaski Academy running back Broderick Green remains a soft verbal commit to USC, but has taken unofficial visits to Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State, Mississippi State and Auburn and said Sunday night that he also plans to take ones to Arkansas, Penn State, Texas and Tennessee.

"I am planning on taking both an unofficial and official one to Arkansas," Green said.

Green said his older brother Stephen Green has enrolled at Arkansas and will begin classes in August while participating on both the track and football teams.

"I do think some about playing on the same team with him in college," Green said.


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