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Eye on the (Redshirt) Tiger: Auburn DE Prince Tega Wanogho

Michael Niziolek

mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

San Jose State wide receiver Hansell Wilson (87) fumbles the ball against Auburn defensive back Johnathan Ford (23) and Auburn linebacker JaViere Mitchell (16) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, in Auburn, Ala.
San Jose State wide receiver Hansell Wilson (87) fumbles the ball against Auburn defensive back Johnathan Ford (23) and Auburn linebacker JaViere Mitchell (16) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, in Auburn, Ala. AP Photo

Prince Tega Wanogho is as intriguing of a talent as Auburn has on its roster going into next season.

The defensive end cuts an imposing figure at 6-foot-8 and 250-pounds with athleticism to match— he ran the 40-yard dash in the 4.6 range — but he’s one of the most inexperienced players on the Tigers’ roster.

Wanogho didn’t start playing football until his senior year at Edgewood Academy then missed most of his freshman year at Auburn with a knee injury he suffered playing basketball for his high school team.

A lack of experience didn’t stop Wanogho from jumping to the top of the Class of 2015 rankings within the state of Alabama.

Four months of film was enough for him to earn a 4-star ranking and jump to the top of the recruiting rankings in the state of Alabama. It was also enough for coaches from LSU, Georgia, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon and Texas saw enough to offer him a scholarship.

The injury was a setback for the freshman when he arrived on the plains. He didn’t practice until Auburn started preparing for the Birmingham Bowl in December.

"He's back out there doing some things," Coach Gus Malzahn. "You can see he's a big, athletic guy. He just needs experience."

While fellow defensive lineman DaVonte Lambert was impressed with what Wanogho picked up after only two weeks of practice, the Nigerian native has plenty to prove this spring.

New defensive coordinator Kevin Steele will be looking for an edge rusher with Lambert and Cassanova McKinzy graduating.

Wanogho will be competing for playing time along with Byron Cowart and Jeff Holland as well as a deep class of defensive lineman.

Michael Niziolek covers Auburn football for the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. Email him at mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com or follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+

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