The state of Alabama produces a tremendous number of high school football prospects each year. Presumably, everyone of them know who the coach is at the University of Alabama.
In the case of Edgewood Academy (Elmore, Ala.) 2016 defensive end Prince Tega, however, Nick Saban may as well have been someone from another planet when he arrived in August from Nigeria as a foreign exchange student. Tega had no ambitions to play football, and frankly, was not clear on what to do with a football.
"When Prince showed up at one of our summer workouts, we were running the 40-yard dash and he wanted to give it a try," said Edgewood Academy coach Bobby Carr. "We did not have size 17 cleats that could fit him so he ran it in his Jordan high tops and we timed him at a 4.61. His form was awful and he had no idea how to get in a three-point stance. We had this 6-foot-8, 245-pound kid who could run like a deer, but he literally had no idea about the sport of football."
Tega decided to relocate to the states after participating in several basketball camps, leading to his arrival in the tiny town of Elmore (just outside of Wetumpka for those versed in Alabama geography) to further his development in that sport and to pursue an American education. After hearing the buzz around the Edgewood Academy football program - which has won five straight AISA 2-A state titles and possesses the nation's longest winning streak at 58 games - Tega decided to give the sport of football a go.