By Hunter Jones
Special to Tidesports
HOOVER — Auburn senior offensive tackle Prince Tega Wanogho came from Nigeria to America with the intention of playing basketball.
He had never heard of football when he first arrived. Now he’s viewed as a potentially high pick for next year’s NFL Draft.
“I actually didn’t know if I would ever play football, but I played football my senior year in high school, and in basketball season I broke my leg, so after that I was like, ‘OK, you know what, we’ll just stick with football,’ ” Wanogho said.
When Wanogho committed to Auburn, he was a defensive end but was moved to offensive tackle.
“We switched him to tackle about three and a half years ago, and he started for the last two and a half years and plays that left tackle position,” Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said.
While it may seem like a hard transition to make, Wanogho credits his own inexperience in football to ease the position change.
“I would say just the playcalling and just understanding just the concept of the plays, that’s pretty much it,” Wanogho said. “I wasn’t playing football for that long, so I was still new to the game so it was easy enough for me being coached and tell me like to take the proper technique and take the proper footwork and stuff. So it really wasn’t that bad of a transition for me because I wasn’t really like playing D-line for that long, too, so it was a smooth transition for me.”
After the 2018 season, Wanogho was one of eight juniors at Auburn who decided to return for their senior seasons.
“Obviously just my family and the Auburn family as well, and my teammates, because I saw the seniors coming back and I don’t want to be left out of a great season since I believe like we actually have a real chance,” Wanogho said.