Ziemba "Petrified" When Teammate Went Down

Auburn offensive tackle Lee Ziemba talks about last Saturday's scare involving teammate Antonio Coleman.

Auburn, Ala.--It's doubtful that anybody on the Auburn team was happier than Lee Ziemba to get the good news on Saturday that defensive end Antonio Coleman was not seriously injured in the Tigers' first scrimmage of spring football drills.

Coleman, who will be a junior this fall, locked up with Ziemba on a pass play and was injured. The problem has been diagnosed as a cervical sprain and Coleman is expected to be back in action at practice next week, head coach Tommy Tuberville said on Thursday.

"I am just thanking God he's alright," Ziemba said. "You never want to see a football injury, especially a teammate who you spend all day with, go to class with, go to study hall with and practice with and lift weights with. You don't want to see somebody hurt like that. You just thank God he is alright."

Ziemba said he doesn't believe he did anything wrong on the play. "It was just two football players battling all day at the stadium," stated. "The intensity was high. Something is going to happen."

The lineman added, "I was working hard with a high intensity level. That is what Coach (Hugh) Nall preaches at us."

The big tackle admits he was distraught when team doctor Michael Goodlett and head trainer Arnold Gamber called for an ambulance to take Coleman to East Alabama Medical Center for an MRI.

"I was petrified," Ziemba says. "You never want anybody to go down. Especially when an ambulance comes on the field, you don't know what is wrong with him."

The sophomore said when got a call from Gamber about two hours after the scrimmage that Coleman was going to be fine and had walked out of the hospital that was a major relief.

Ziemba said he has talked to Coleman about the injury. "I just apologized and you make sure you are on the right terms and everything and we were," he said. "It's football, it's different. It's hard-nosed, it supposed to be hard-nosed. It's a game--that's why everybody watches it. We are all right."

Ziemba, who is making a move from right tackle to left tackle this season, is a returning starter who earned Freshman All-SEC honors last season.

The Tigers had their seventh of 15 spring practices on Thursday morning and will scrimmage again at 10 a.m. on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

"I am using it as a learning experience," he said of spring drills." We have got this new offense going. I am learning something every day and I am just trying to improve and getting ready for two-a-days."


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