Nall: Ziemba's No. 1 for Now

Auburn's offensive line coach discusses the right tackle spot and the rest of the offensive line.

Auburn, Ala.--With two weeks left until opening night, Lee Ziemba is the projected starter at offensive tackle.

That is the word from Auburn offensive line coach Hugh Nall, who notes that he has been impressed with the work habits from the 6-8, 298-pound freshman from Rogers, Ark.

"I think that as of right now, if we had to play right now, that is the way it would be," says Nall when commenting about Ziemba lining up with the first team offense at Saturday's practice.

"What he is doing well is that he is playing hard," Nall says. "He is giving 100 percent effort on everything. He actually plays too hard at times. In the offensive line you have to be fundamentally sound and he plays past his fundamentals sometimes, which is a good problem.

"I would much rather have to coach at guy to slow down than speed up," Nall says. "If you have to coach one to speed up, and what to do, it is sure tough. He is playing full speed. He is very talented. He is just very raw. Unfortunately, he is going to have to make a lot of mistakes to be a good one, but he has a chance to be a really good one."

Big Lee Ziemba is shown at Saturday's practice in a drill in which he towers over defensive lineman Sen'Derrick Marks.

Nall notes that it is not a lock that Ziemba will start vs. Kansas State. "We still have some competition. As of right now Ziemba is the starter. I thought he graded out better and did a lot things better in the pass pro (protection). I thought he really improved in his run blocking so that was an area he needed to improve in.

"Assignment-wise, he was a lot better than he was a week ago," Nall adds. "I don't see him getting anything but better and better."

Looking at the offensive line as a whole comparing its play in scrimmage two on Friday night vs. scrimmage one six says earlier, Nall says, "I thought we made a lot of improvement. The assignment grade was a lot better. Still, the little things, the fundamentals, and the tempo at times, needs to improve, but I thought it was a big improvement."

Ziemba has had a solid preseason camp after arriving at Auburn for a head start on workouts earlier this summer.

The rest of the first team offensive line at Saturday's practice following a major scrimmage on Saturday night included Jason Bosley at center, Tyronne Green and Mike Berry at the guards and King Dunlap at left tackle.

Nall says that he hopes senior Leon Hart will rejoin the battle soon for a starting spot at guard after being sidelined this week with an ankle sprain. Another guard, redshirt freshman Byron Isom, played well in the second scrimmage.

Isom missed Saturday's practice with a knee bruise, but is expected back next week. "I think he is definitely in the hunt for playing time and or a starting job," Nall points out. "I think Antwoin Daniels is still in the hunt for a starting job. It might not be at tackle. He played some guard today."

A pair of true freshmen, center Ryan Pugh and guard Chaz Ramsey, also played well in the scrimmage, Nall says.

Looking at the big picture on the offensive front, Nall says, "I am excited about the potential, but we have got a long way to go. It is still not where it needs to be."


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