Franklin vs. Ziemba

Although Marion's game at Rogers Friday night will feature a lot of talened players, it is Rogers offensive lineman Lee Ziemba (6-7, 295) and Marion safety Jerry Franklin (6-3, 215) that are the reasons that University of Arkansas coaches will be in attendance.

When Rogers hosts Marion on Friday night there will be two players on the field at the same time that the University of Arkansas would love to add to their collection of 2007 commitments.

Rogers offensive lineman Lee Ziemba (6-7, 295) and Marion safety Jerry Franklin (6-3, 215) – who both have offers from Arkansas and the Razorbacks in their final two choices – will lead their teams into battle tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Rogers.

Ziemba, down to Arkansas and Auburn, knows the game will match two teams that don't resemble each other much.

"It's going to be two teams with very contrasting styles," Ziemba said. "They run the Dead T and we throw the ball a lot. We are hoping the fact that they don't see passing teams like us that much will give us an advantage."

Franklin, who will choose between Arkansas and Ole Miss, is looking forward to the game and Rogers' air attack, and his team boasts another UA interest in running back Darcel Johnson, who had 115 yards rushing last week.

"I think we will play really well and I look forward to the challenge," Franklin said. "The fact that they throw the ball so much and I am a safety will give me a chance to showcase my speed and my coverage ability. I am hoping to make some plays."

As is Ziemba, whose team opened with a 42-0 win over Miami (Okla.) that he nevertheless was not fully pleased with afterwards.

"We certainly didn't play as well as the score indicates," Ziemba said. "We made a lot of mistakes and if we continue to make them we won't be as lucky down the line. I think we had seven fumbles and that just can't happen most of the time and you still be able to win a game like we did."

Marion comes into the game off a big 14-13 win over Wynne in its season opener.

"Anytime you get a win over a great team like Wynne you are happy about it, but we made too many mistakes, especially in the red zone. That can't happen in the rest of our games or we will get beat."

Franklin made an impression on both the Ole Miss and Arkansas coaches at their respective summer camps.

He was offered a scholarship soon after he left both campuses.

"I had just come in from practice and my dad told me that Arkansas had offered me a a scholarship," Franklin said. "They had told me they were going to offer me one after they watched me during the season, but decided to go ahead and get it out there. It made me feel really good to know what they think of me."

Ziemba, Franklin and Johnson were all on hand for last Saturday's game between USC and Arkansas.

"I don't think the score really told the story of the game and I think Arkansas' offense has improved and is going to be much more balanced than it has been in the past," Ziemba said. "I was excited about the different things they were doing out on the field and I think it was just a matter of executing it a little better. I think it is going to be something that really takes off down the line."

Franklin was most impressed by the crowd of over 76,000 on hand at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

"The crowd was huge and very supportive," Franklin said. "That was the thing I thought the most about. Arkansas didn't play that great, but it was USC and they make a lot of teams not play their best."

Ziemba said that he and Fort Smith Northside quarterback Kodi Burns – also down to Arkansas and Auburn – are still talking about taking an official visit to Auburn together during the year and one to Arkansas after the season.

"Like I have said before our decisions won't be made together, but individually," Ziemba said. "But we like talking about things together. We had thought we might go to the Arkansas-Auburn game, but now I think we are looking at going to Auburn's game with Georgia (on Nov. 11)."

Franklin said he has plans to go catch an Ole Miss game sometime this season and then will start thinking more about his decision after his season ends.

"I am not going to make my decision until I take official visits to both schools," Franklin said. "I am just concentrating on the season right now and this week I am just concentrating on Rogers."

Jerry Franklin

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