The story of tackle Prince Tega Wanogho, the Eagles' sixth-round pick at No. 210 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, began in Delta State, Nigeria, an oil hub near the Atlantic Ocean.
Wanogho grew up there with his eight siblings (seven sisters, one brother). He first played soccer then basketball which earned him a scholarship to Edgewood Academy in Montgomery, Alabama. He moved to the United States in 2014 at the age of 16 and lived with the school's basketball coach, Todd Taylor. He attended football practice to meet new people and get accustomed to American life. The coaches were in awe of his athleticism and he became a standout defensive end (as well as a kicker with his soccer experience). His grades were so impressive that he moved up and graduated a year early. He only got one year of football experience, but it was enough to earn a scholarship to Auburn.
"The plan from the very start wasn't football," Wanogho said in a videoconference call Saturday after being drafted. "I can tell you that. God always has a special plan, and come to the United States like just a kid with a dream, just to see. And, you know, I try to reminisce back and just think about it, and it's been a long journey. Like a lot of people have made a lot of sacrifices for me to be here today, and just seeing that dream actually come true, it's a blessing. It's great. I'm excited. I don't even know the word to actually say, to tell people how excited I am. But it's a blessing for me."
It wasn't all smooth sailing for Wanogho. Unfortunately, he broke his leg playing basketball for Edgewood that winter and had to redshirt his freshman year with the Tigers, practicing as a defensive lineman on the scout team. He was moved to the offensive side of the ball as a redshirt freshman and played in 10 games as a reserve right tackle. He moved to left tackle in 2017 and started every game in his final two years on campus. In all, Wanogho played in 49 games (32 starts).
"He was a left tackle that we really liked his feet and quickness and ability to run off the ball and anchor in the pass game," Vice President of Player Personnel Andy Weidl said. "We loved the competitiveness he played with, and he's a guy who didn't let up one sack this year. Really efficient pass protection. We think he fits our profile of offensive lineman that can run, get out in space, pass protect, and anchor when called upon to protect the quarterback.
"So we saw an opportunity with him, and credit to Howie (Roseman, executive vice president/general manager) for jumping on it. Everybody went in there with pretty consist grades across the board on him. It was a great job by the scouts identifying him, and then by Howie executing the pick."
Wanogho wanted to participate in the Senior Bowl, but was flagged for a right knee injury that he suffered during his senior season. He was unable to workout at the Combine as a result of the injury as well.
"For me, you know, the entire process – I'm not going to lie. It was frustrating," Wanogho said. "And, yeah, spoke to my agent and we were thinking like I was going to go way earlier. But at the same time, God has a special plan for me, and I think this is where I'm supposed to be and this is the right fit for me."