Hoover, Ala.--Lorenzo Diamond caught 10 balls in his junior season for 105 yards and just one touchdown. That lone score came against North Carolina in the Peach Bowl in a team performance Diamond says the Tigers hope to not see again any time soon.
Diamond says that in 2002 coach Bobby Petrino’s new offensive scheme will call for a few changes in what you see on the field for the Tigers. “We’re still going to run the ball with Cadillac, but were going to drop back and try to throw the ball down the field more.” Diamond says he hopes to catch a few more passes as a senior, which looks to be a certainty if he stays healthy with Petrino's plans to make the tight ends a bigger part of the passing attack.
Diamond is shown at SEC Media Days 2002 in Hoover. The senior and junior linebacker Dontarrious Thomas represented the Tigers along with Coach Tommy Tuberville.
As for who he hopes will be throwing him those few more passes, Diamond says that’s not important to him. “I don’t care who is in there as long they are productive, making the right decisions, throwing the ball and putting W’s up on the board. I don’t care who is in there.”
Diamond notes that both quarterbacks (Daniel Cobb and Jason Campbell) have been making strides in the offseason. “Both of them have their head on right,” Diamond explains. “They both have confidence in their abilities and they know the team has confidence in them.”
Along with throwing to the tight ends, whoever takes over at quarterback will also have the opportunity to throw the ball to a group of talented freshmen. “All of the young receivers have really impressed me," Diamond says. "These guys can run, they can catch, they’re big, they’re strong and they’re physical receivers.” One has even earned a nickname during summer workouts. “One that stands out is Devin (Aromashodu)," Diamond says. "He’s a tall, tall guy and can really go up and catch the ball. We call him the gazelle because he looks like a gazelle and can really run.”
Lorenzo Diamond is shown in Auburn's 2001 victory over Florida.
Diamond remembers his freshmen year and says he learned an important lesson that season. “Just to stay humble," he says. "I came to Auburn a cocky 210-pound freshman, Bbt I’ve been humbled a lot in the past four years.”
Over the offseason the Tigers have been involved in extensive voluntary summer workouts and Diamond says the intensity level has been spectacular this year. “I think this has been one of the best summers I have been a part of. All of the guys have been here and Coach Yox (Kevin Yoxall) has really pushed us.” All of the conditioning and hard work over the offseason should really pay off, according to Diamond. “I think that is going to be one of the major things in this four game, 18-day trip to open the season.”
Along with hard work over the winter, spring and summer to lead them into the 2002 season, Diamond says that the Tigers have plenty of motivation from the finish in 2001 to keep them fired up. “We have T-shirts with the score of every game that we lost in our weight room. So every time we go in there we look at that.”
And if anyone thinks that the 2002 Tiger team has forgotten about the beating they suffered at the hands of archrival Alabama, Diamond says they definitely wrong. “To go a year with the knowledge of Alabama coming to Auburn and beating us really has stuck with us all through the year.”