"It was just amazing watching the whole season and playing a little bit and getting my feet wet," Diamond said. "As a whole unit we got better every day. It's all about progression and being consistent on a daily basis. That's what we were doing the whole season."
Playing a backup role during the 2013 season on the offensive line and also seeing some action on special teams, Diamond was part of an group of newcomers who suffered through a rough first season at Auburn before Gus Malzahn came on board. Getting a feel for the new staff last spring and seeing what they were able to do in a short time, he said they believe in their new coach and what he's going to do with the program.
"Basically our class came in to win just like every class comes in to win," Diamond said. "When you come to Auburn you come to win. Coach Malzahn is bringing that edge back. He's giving us confidence in ourselves to do the right thing all the time and make all the right decisions and be as perfect as you can, but also to learn from your mistakes."
Choosing Auburn over dozens of other schools coming from the Chicago area in part because of the fan base and the love he felt from them during his recruiting, Diamond said now that he's had a chance to experience the highs and lows the last two years he can't imagine a better group to play for and be associated with than Auburn.
"It has been amazing to me," Diamond said. "Great fans; coming back from a few road games we had like 1,000 people waiting for us to get off the bus. We have great teammates with everybody supporting each other. We're all together as a family."
The next step for the Tigers begins with spring practice. For Diamond it is the next chance to show how much improvement he's made under Grimes and in Malzahn's offense. Getting plenty of reps during bowl practice time was a huge bonus for him and the rest of Auburn's young offensive linemen, but now the real work begins with the page turned from 2013 and working on a new season.
"Coach Grimes has been stressing the line and myself, but me personally I'm taking it day by day working on the little things," Diamond said. "That's what will make me a better player.
"Right now I feel like I'm not performing at a high level consistently. Coach always tells me I'm getting better and better. That gives me confidence to do my thing too as well, but as a unit I think we're all getting better.
"It was great," Diamond added of the BCS experience and extra practice time. "It has given us the confidence to say "if the older guys can do it then if we work just as hard them then we can do the same thing and can make the same strides as everyone else.'"