A redshirt sophomore from Chicago, Diamond has been battling to get back to 100 percent physically and admits he is still a work in progress.
“I think I am doing pretty good coming off of surgery,” he said. “I think my body is responding pretty good, but it is a work in progress. The only thing I can do is give it all I have got and keep moving forward.”
Diamond, who has been held back by knee problems, said he is working on his physical quickness as well as “slowing the game down in my mind.”
“Those are the big things moving forward,” he said. “I am trying to get faster with more explosion. “Everything else is going pretty good.”
Offensive line coach J.B. Grimes noted it is good to have Diamond back in action competing for playing time. “I can tell he is still trying to get back to full speed, but he is a tough guy and is working hard,” Grimes said.
Diamond pointed out he has high expectations for the offensive line. “We are going to be amazing,” he said. “We have just got to continue to work. We have depth. We have a great core group for our starting five.
“All we have to do is continue to build chemistry and work together throughout the whole team--it’s not just the offensive line,” he added.
Diamond weighed in at 307 pounds over the weekend. The six-foot-six lineman said he likes playing at that weight and feels quicker than he did when he was 320-plus. “Coach (Ryan) Russell and the amazing program we have got here has really enhanced my game, and it has enhanced the whole team, as you can tell,” he said about Auburn’s strength and conditioning coach. “We are all moving faster.”
Competing with redshirt sophomore Will Adams for a backup role, Diamond said he is pushing hard get back to 100 percent physically. “It is a work in progress, but I am close. Right now I am not there, but I am there--it is way better than last year, maybe 100 times better than last year. I am going to good go. When showtime comes I have got to be prepared to play.”
The Tigers, who wrapped up the preseason camp portion of practice on Sunday, are off on Monday as fall semester classes begin and will return to the practice field on Tuesday evening as they prepare for their August 30th season opener vs. Arkansas.