War Eagle Extra

Auburn’s Prince Tega Wanogho making jump from defensive to offensive line

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn signs autographs at SEC Media Days on Monday, July 11, 2016.
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn signs autographs at SEC Media Days on Monday, July 11, 2016. mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn announced an intriguing position change at SEC Media Days Monday morning with redshirt freshman Prince Tega Wanogho moving from the defensive to offensive line.

“He’s going to move to offensive tackle,” Malzahn said during a session with beat reports at the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover. “Prince is a guy that we feel very good about. He’s doing a great job at defensive line, but we feel like we had proper depth going into this year and we are going to try to develop him into an offensive tackle.”

Wanogho missed all of last season recovering from a significant leg injury — fractured tibia and fibula —he suffered playing basketball for Edgewood Academy.

He practiced for the first time with his teammates when Auburn started preparing for the Birmingham Bowl in December.

The Nigerian native came to the Plains with only a year of experience playing football. The team always envisioned the 4-star recruit as a long term prospect, but he had made in-roads at the defensive line this spring at defensive end.

Wanogho drew praise from new defensive coordinator Kevin Steele, who was encouraged with the lineman’s progress during the team’s 15 spring practices.

“Fun to watch because he's an athletic guy who can run real well,” Steele said during camp. “He's like a sponge. He hangs on every word you say. If he hears you talking to a linebacker he's listening. Sometimes I think, 'Is that going to clutter his thought process,' but I think he just wants to hear everything you want to say.”

Wanogho will now work closely with Auburn’s new offensive line coach Herb Hand to transition into his new position.

“We won’t play him until he is ready,” Malzahn said.