Eagles Protect ‘Good Starting Tackle’ Prospect with Incredible Backstory

Prince Tega Wanogho

Getty Prince Tega Wanogho could wind up being the biggest steal of the 2020 NFL Draft and a future left tackle for the Eagles.

The Eagles are running on fumes on the offensive line. Maybe a real-life Prince can snap his fingers and command opposing defensive ends to stop dead in their tracks. Philadelphia protected practice-squad player Prince Tega Wanogho, the sixth-round draft pick out of Auburn who left his native Nigeria to pursue a dream of playing professional sports in America.

The 6-foot-5, 309-pounder might see that become reality this week if the Eagles call him up to the active roster. There is a need for added depth on the line due to injuries and Wanogho started 32 games at left tackle at Auburn. His college teammate, Jack Driscoll, has been starting at right tackle in the absence of Lane Johnson. Unfortunately, Driscoll is reportedly out this week with an ankle injury.

Wanogho was the more raw prospect coming out of college, thanks to a serious knee injury and scope that plummeted his draft stock. He could wind up being the steal of the draft. Or a complete bust.

He had an up-and-down training camp for the Eagles and the team initially cut him from the 53-man roster. Then, he cleared waivers and joined the practice squad. According to Auburn offensive analyst Kendall Simmons, Wanogho can be a “good starting tackle” in the NFL.

“I think Prince will be a good starting tackle in the league and he has the athletic ability,” Simmons told NBC Sports Philadelphia in May. “Tega has the ability to be awesome. He just has to get over the health thing and turn his motor on. And decide that this is what I want and I’m gonna stay here until they kick me out the league.”

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More to Wanagho’s Incredible Backstory

Yes, his first name is Prince but he’s not technically a Prince. Kind of. He was named after his grandfather who was “a king of the family’s village” but that title is more comparable to a U.S. mayor. But Wanogho’s incredible journey reads like a movie script, specifically “Coming to America.” He left Nigeria and boarded a solo flight to the United States as a wide-eyed teenager with just a bible and $20 in his pocket.

The goal was to play basketball and be the next LeBron James, then he fell in love with football and earned a scholarship to Auburn despite only playing one year of high school football at Edgewood Academy in Florida. He red-shirted his freshman year due to injury before going on to make 32 career starts at left tackle.

“The plan from the very start wasn’t football. I can tell you that,” Wanogho told Philly reporters on draft day. “But God always has a special plan. To come to the United States with a dream. It’s been a long journey. Just seeing that dream actually come true, it’s a blessing.”

Eagles Protect DT T.Y. McGill, Release CB Trevor Williams

The Eagles also made two more minor moves on Tuesday when they protected defensive tackle T.Y. McGill on the practice squad and released cornerback Trevor Williams from injured reserve.

McGill gives them added depth on the defensive line with Malik Jackson (quadriceps) missing practice and reportedly out for one to two weeks. Hassan Ridgeway is healthy again after missing time with an undisclosed illness. Starters Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave carry no injury designation for Thursday.

Williams, the former Penn State standout and Chargers starter, had bounced around the practice squad and active roster. He saw significant snaps against Cincinnati in Week 3 after Avonte Maddox went down but then a rib injury sent him to IR.

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