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aubiefifty

prince tega putting in the work

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theplainsman.com

Fortune Teller: Prince Tega looks to be next in line of great Auburn left tackles

By Staff Report

5-6 minutes

Every Monday and Thursday, Plainsman sports staffers Zach Tantillo and Nathan King will analyze an Auburn football player who has a chance to make a sizeable impact on the team next season.

Today’s Fortune Teller focuses on Prince Tega Wanogho, the possible answer to the looming left tackle vacancy.

What seems to be the biggest offseason challenge is the impending replacement of the four senior starters from Auburn's offensive line.

Now, arguably the most important position on the offensive line is the left tackle, as it is key to protecting the quarterback’s blind side and protecting the edge from college football’s most elusive rushers.

That is where Prince Tega Wanogho steps in.

Wanogho earned the starting nod at left tackle last season and played a key role in the Joe Moore Award finalist unit, starting in seven games and making appearances in all 14. He was a big part of a unit that was one of the best run-blocking teams in the country.

In this play, Wanogho (76) displays his speed and athleticism becoming the lead blocker for a Kerryon Johnson touchdown against No. 1 Georgia. 

According to Football Outsiders, Auburn’s offensive line was a top-10 unit in power success rate and stuff rate. Power success rate is percentage of runs on third or fourth down, two yards or less to go, that achieved a first down or touchdown. Auburn’s offensive line placed fifth in the nation, posting an 80.6 percent power success rate.

Stuff rate is percentage of carries by running backs that are stopped at or before the line of scrimmage. Auburn placed ninth in the country at just 14.8 percent.

But opening running lanes was not the issue for Wanogho and the rest of the unit as Auburn was one of the worst pass-protection teams in 2017, placing 100th in the country for sacks allowed. The poor protection peaked in Wanogho’s worst performance of the season against Clemson, where Auburn allowed 11 sacks.

Wanogho’s size at 6-foot-7, 307 pounds and athleticism -- as a former basketball player and defensive end -- never came into question last season. Most of Wanogho’s issues in pass protection can be solved by better fundamentals, better footwork and hand placement that caused breakdowns in protections at times.

In this play, Wanogho can be seen at the bottom of the offensive line as a quicker rusher tries to use to his speed to get by him. Wanogho uses his quick feet and size to fend the rusher away giving Stidham time to throw the touchdown to Will Hastings.

These issues have been the main focal point for offensive line coach J.B. Grimes and Wanogho in the spring.

"He’s got all of the ability, the biggest thing with him is he’s got to learn how to use his hands better,” Grimes said. "Then he’s got to learn to get his feet, you know as your toe goes, so goes your shoulders. As your toe turns, your shoulder and your hips are going to turn. We’ve got to get them to where they’re more square in everything that we do.”

Wanogho has made strides in the spring, even getting all-conference praise from coaches.

“Really excited on what he could be,” Grimes said about Wanogho. “I think he’s ascending to an all-conference type player.”

With Braden Smith and Austin Golson both graduating, there is a missing vocal leader from the offensive line. Wanogho has stepped in nicely to the role and is taking just more than a lead-by-example leadership position.

“It’s a gradual thing. It’s just the right time to take that step,” Wanogho said. “We’ve got a lot of young players right now and I just feel like it’s the right time. I played last year so I feel like they look up to me, and I try to take that step to lead them. Just be a leader out there.”

Wanogho has used the spring to improve on everything that he struggled with last season, and it just so happens his position coach specializes in those areas.

Grimes’ attention to the little things and Wanogho’s raw talent, athleticism and size will give quarterback Jarrett Stidham a sigh of relief, knowing that Wanogho will be protecting his blind side.

By the time Auburn kicks off against Washington on September 1, expect Wanogho to have locked up the left tackle position and become one of the better left tackles in the SEC.

Catch up on previous installments of the Fortune Teller series:

 

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2 hours ago, aubiefifty said:

Wanogho has used the spring to improve on everything that he struggled with last season, and it just so happens his position coach specializes in those areas.

Grimes’ attention to the little things and Wanogho’s raw talent, athleticism and size will give quarterback Jarrett Stidham a sigh of relief, knowing that Wanogho will be protecting his blind side.

That's the kind of thing I want to read. Now if we can just get a similar article about Ashley at RT, we'll be in business.

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18 minutes ago, RunInRed said:

Any one seen a recent photo?

No

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Just now, 80Tiger said:

Seems like I read an article like this about him last year.

You did read basically the same one in the spring.

Last year was his first time ever playing on OL and Hand was his coach, so if they wrote the same article, it was about a very different situation. 

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28 minutes ago, 80Tiger said:

Seems like I read an article like this about him last year.

There is literally an article on him every month. I better see the reincarnation of Larry Allen because the hype is real

 

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3 hours ago, DAG said:

There is literally an article on him every month. I better see the reincarnation of Larry Allen because the hype is real

 

Now your just being silly...........................j/k

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Optimistic outlook in this article. WDE has stated Grimes is really good coaching run blocking and pretty average when it comes to coaching pass protection.
Hard to argue that Tega's performance could be the single most important factor in AU having a big year.

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I’m not worried about left tackle or either Guard spots.  Center and RT are the concerns.  We have 2 young guys in Ashley and Troxell plus the GT.  I have faith that of those talented guys he will find someone that is a good run blocker and decent in pass pro.  

Center is the main thing.  Find someone that snaps well consistently and doesn’t allow pressure up the middle and I think we can out perform last years unit but that’s a big big thing for a first year starter going up against the DTs in this conference.  But whoever it is will get a chance to practice against talented DL in fall practice 

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