Ziemba Back in Action

Rogers offensive lineman Lee Ziemba (6-7, 305) is among several Arkansas players participating in this afternoon's Max Emfinger Bowl Game Classic in Shreveport at 4 p.m.

SHREVEPORT, La. -- Rogers' Lee Ziemba is like a little boy in a candy store.

Why you ask?

Because Ziemba is in linemen heaven at the third annual Max Emfinger Bowl Game Classic. The game, which features 120 of the top high school players in the country split into East and West teams, will be played at 4 p.m. today in Independence Stadium in Shreveport.

The game is the brainchild of recruiting expert Max Emfinger and will also feature Rogers quarterback Cody Kirby (5-11, 200) and Fayetteville's Ben Ball. Ball (6-4, 243) was a late addition to the East team while Kirby will play with Ziemba on the West squad.

Ziemba (6-foot-7, 305) is the state's top recruit and one of the best offensive lineman in the country. But here in Shreveport, Ziemba doesn't stand out on a West offensive line where the two guards and two tackles average 6-7, 313 pounds.

Joining Ziemba on the West front are two players -- Monticello's Seth Oxner (6-4, 290) and Jonesboro's Grant Cook (6-6, 305) -- who have committed to Arkansas. Ziemba has narrowed his choices to Arkansas and Auburn and still has a visit scheduled to Auburn.

Grant Freeman (6-7, 255), of Paris, is another player on the West roster that has committed to Arkansas and will play tight end today.

The West will operate out of the Veer and Ziemba and company will block for running back Bradley Stephens (5-11, 200 4.3). Stephens, of McAllen, Texas, has committed to Texas A&M.

"This is awesome," Ziemba said after practice Wednesday. "Our offensive line is awesome and Stephens is a good running back."

With four all-star games scheduled around the country, Emfinger said landing Ziemba was a coup for the game.

"Ziemba is one of the top offensive linemen in the country and he came up to me the first day and he thanked me for inviting him," Emfinger said. "I am proud that he stayed with us."

One reason Ziemba picked this game was the chance to play with Kirby one last time. Kirby, who passed for 3,521 yards and 34 touchdowns at Rogers last year, will get the start for the West today and said running the Veer is a challenge.

"We have a lot of talented running backs and a big offensive line," Kirby said. "But we will throw it when we need to. I've been reading pass defenses all season and now I have to read run defenses. But it's a chance to show the other part of my game."

Kirby has committed to Missouri State but his stock could rise with a solid effort today.

"You would have to consider it (other offers) but I am set on Missouri State," Kirby said. "That's the place I want to be."

Emfinger expects Kirby to have a solid game.

"Kirby has been very outstanding," Emfinger said. "Great arm strength, which we knew, but I just wish he was a couple of inches taller. If he was a couple of inches taller, he would be offered by everybody in the country. But I still think he is a Joe Montana-type of quarterback."


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