One of the most interesting of the football newcomers is Prince Tega Wanogho, who was an exchange student at Edgewood Academy last season after moving to the state of Alabama from Nigeria.
The defensive end, who had never played football or even watched the game prior to his senior year in high school, said he can’t wait to move into the next chapter of his life.
“Yes, sir, I am excited,” he said. “This is the next level so I am ready.”
Wanogho has added more than 20 pounds since signing with the Tigers.
Even though he was a novice at football last fall he picked up the game quickly as he made 82 tackles while helping Edgewood Academy win the Class AA Alabama Independent Schools state championship.
“It was a fun year,” he said of his time spent at Edgewood, which is located in Elmore, not far from Montgomery. “I was glad and proud to be a part of our team and our legacy.”
One of the major reasons Wanogho came to the U.S. was to play basketball. In January he suffered a broken bone in his leg while playing in a basketball game and has been rehabbing it since then. Despite the injury, SEC programs like LSU, Alabama and others didn’t back off from recruiting the big defensive end.
“I am doing good,” Wanogho said of his recovery. “It is getting better--my leg is a lot better. Now that I am coming over to Auburn they can take better care of me.”
With excellent speed at six feet, seven inches tall, Wanogho is certainly an interesting prospect. He played at 250 pounds last fall and is now up to 273.
Auburn defensive line coach Rodney Garner will be working with the tall end and said he is looking forward to the assignment, noting that the freshman “is a great young man” with a strong work ethic and a desire to learn as much as possible about playing football.
“He has a tremendous skill set,” said the coach, who added that he believes Wanogho has a chance to develop into a very good college defensive end.
Wanogho went from a recruiting unknown to a four-star prospect as a senior at Edgewood Academy.
Edgewood’s head coach, Bobby Carr, agrees with Garner about the player’s potential. “He is just a natural on the defensive side of the ball,” said Carr, who noted the first football game the exchange student watched was one he played in last season.
The Edgewood coach added, “Tega is a very, very mature kid, a very bright kid, and he caught on really, really fast with size, athleticism and his speed.”
The freshman, who was a strong student in high school, said he isn’t sure what he will major in at Auburn. “I think I am going to study international business, but I don’t know for sure.”
On the field his goal as a freshman is simple. “I am going to try to make the team and get playing time,” he said. “I am going to try to work real hard.”
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