Diamond's Days As Tiger Nearly Done

Auburn, Ala.--Senior Lorenzo Diamond says he plans to "relish the moment" as his collegiate career as an Auburn football player draws to a conclusion.

Diamond and his teammates will wrap up their on-campus preparations this week for their New Year's Day bowl date vs. Penn State in Orlando, Fla.

When asked what his thoughts are on his final practices, the tight end says, "The last couple of practices, on the field, just go out there and look around and remember when you first got here."

Diamond is one of the few remaining players on the Auburn team who was recruited prior to Coach Tommy Tuberville's arrival. Diamond was redshirted his first season at Auburn in 1998 after earning All-State honors as a highly recruited tight end at Moss Point, Miss., High. He will leave as a four-year letterman and one of the most respected members of the 2002 senior class.

Lorenzo Diamond has 45 career receptions going into the bowl game.

"I was a boy when I got here and I am man now," Diamond says. "That basically describes it all. When I first got here there was a lot of expectations. Over the years, I think I met those expectations well and went out and tried to help the team win."

Auburn faces 10th-ranked Penn State at the Capital One Bowl in Orlando. The Nittany Lions are considered the favorite in the game vs. the 19th-ranked Tigers. "There is nothing else I would like better than I would like going out on a winning note," Diamond says. "You know, if we don't, so be it. I still had a good time here, but to go out on a winning note would make it even more sweeter."

Diamond says he particularly enjoyed his final regular season outing, a 17-7 victory over archrival Alabama in Tuscaloosa. "There is nothing like it," he says with a smile. "I stayed out there (on the field) for about 30 minutes afterwards just congratulating the fans, thanking them for being there and thanking them for the support. It was a great feeling."

Diamond says despite his team's underdog status for the bowl game, he likes Auburn's chances of finishing up as a winner. "They have got a pretty good team," he says of the 9-3 Nittany Lions. "They didn't win eight or nine games by being bad. They do some things we can take advantage of. We have got a little more speed than they do. Hopefully, that will help us in the long run. Defensively, we have got to stop Larry Johnson--bottom line. Offensively, we have to move the ball and put it in the end zone."

Diamond and the Tigers will wrap up preparations for the Penn State game on Friday before taking a holiday break and resuming workouts in Orlando on Dec. 26th.

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