Lee Ziemba, a 6-8, 298-pound offensive tackle from Rogers, Ark., is running first team at right tackle. His position coach, Hugh Nall, says that Ziemba is still in the learning mode. Ziemba agrees.
"I feel like I am getting better every day," says the freshman, one of five Tigers who has worked at right tackle this preseason. "The game is slowing down for me. I am feeling a lot more comfortable."
Ziemba arrived on campus in June and has worked hard to push for playing time.
"I just tried to come in and do my best," he says. "It is a blessing and I am very happy I am here, but I am not satisfied. I know to be the player I need to be to start, I need to be a lot better than I am right now."
Lee Ziemba (73) is receiving the first team reps at right tackle.
Ziemba, who had a chance to play at many different colleges, says he arrived at Auburn with the mindset there was an opportunity for him to contribute early, but only if he proved to Nall he was ready for that assignment.
"They told me I had a chance to play," Ziemba says. "They told me the situation and showed me the depth chart. They said, ‘Look, if you come in you will have a chance.' Never did they guarantee me anything. I had to come in here and work hard and show them that I was capable. Still, the work is not done yet."
Nall agrees. "He has done okay," the offensive line coach says. "He has made some mistakes and that is going to happen. Last season he was riding the yellow bus."
Ziemba and the Tigers are continuing their preparations for their September 1st home opener vs. Kansas State.