Auburn's Ziemba Ready For NFL Combine

Lee Ziemba talks about getting ready for the NFL Combine and his thoughts on Auburn.

Auburn, Ala.--It has been a whirlwind 12 months for Auburn offensive tackle Lee Ziemba.

Deciding last year to stay for his senior season instead of turning pro, he was a key part of Auburn's first national title in over 50 years and earned All-SEC and All-America honors as senior as the Tigers went a perfect 14-0.

Winning the BCS National Championship on Jan. 10, Ziemba says that since that time it has been a race against the clock for he and the rest of the departing Tigers as they get ready for this week's NFL Combine, Auburn's Pro Day and the NFL Draft.

"For the graduating guys it seems like as soon as we got back we shipped off all over the country," Ziemba says. "We are getting the little bit of training we could get in before the combine and pro day. It's kind of tough when you go to the training facility because those guys have about three weeks on you because of the national championship. It makes it tougher, but you just do as much as you can in a short period of time. You're living out of suitcases and in and out of hotels just trying to get everything in."

Working out at CES (Competitive Edge Sports) with Chip Smith in Atlanta along with Auburn teammates Mike Berry, Ryan Pugh, Demond Washington and Terrell Zachery, Ziemba says he has been focusing on just improving his strength and his body as he prepares for this week's combine in Indianapolis.

"The thing that really drew me to CES is that they not only get you ready for the combine training, but they get you ready to play at a higher level of football," Ziemba says. "I can tell the difference in myself in just the month I've been working out there. I also feel prepared for the combine as well.

"I have been working on a lot of upper body stuff and lower body," he adds. "You want to make sure your body is right. I have been doing a lot of physical training and things to get me in the best shape I can be."

Even before this week's NFL Combine began teams had already started doing their homework. That means watching video of players and making phone calls to get a feel for the guys they will see in the coming days and weeks. Ziemba notes while some might think it's stressful, for him it's helpful.

"You get phone calls from people that like you and people trying to figure out about you," he says. "Who you are and what type of player they would be drafting? You also get some feedback. Those are the things I cherish most because that way I can hone in on those things."

Ziemba at the Senior Bowl

Heading to Indianapolis on Wednesday, Ziemba will have the opportunity to showcase his skills to the NFL brass from around the league this week. He says that even though it's a huge part of the evaluation process, he's not going to put any more pressure on himself than he did just a few weeks ago.

"I think the Senior Bowl was probably a bigger deal for me because it was football things," Ziemba says. "Especially with linemen that's what they are looking at. The 40-yard dash is important, but it doesn't correlate as much to football for a lineman. The Senior Bowl kind of got me prepared for some of the things we'll be doing at the combine. I hope to go there and be at my best and compete. Hopefully, I can impress some folks."

That's likely to happen based on his career at Auburn and how he performed in the Senior Bowl. Starting the most games of any football player in Auburn history, Ziemba fought through injuries throughout his first three seasons and finished strong in 2010. A good player and even better teammate, he says that no matter what happens down the road in his football career he'll never be able to get Auburn out of his blood.

Ziemba makes a block in Auburn's victory over Alabama this past season.

"This place is awesome," Ziemba says of Auburn. "There's a reason why I call this place home. I love it here. I love the people here. Auburn has been great for me. It has taught me how to be a man. The different challenges I have faced here have really brought me up. I have enjoyed every minute of it.

"God has a definite plan," Ziemba adds. "You just always try to seek that plan and things work out. Sometimes it's good to be patient. I'm glad I stuck around and got everything I could out of my career at Auburn."

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