By inking a two-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles last month, Stone Bridge alumnus Ed Wang is set to continue his career in the National Football League this coming fall season. The Eagles will be Wang’s third NFL team.
A 2004 graduate of Stone Bridge, Wang will play offensive tackle for the Eagles in new coach Chip Kelly’s spread offense. He will compete for a roster spot this summer and fall in hopes of making the 53-man roster opening day.
“It means everything,” Wang said. “I have worked my whole life to play in the NFL, and this is what I have always wanted to do. I have learned to be prepared and expect the unexpected. That’s all you can really do in life.”
Philadelphia first expressed interest in Wang in early February after he worked out for the new coaching staff.
“[The Eagles] reached out to me around three weeks ago,” he continued. “After a workout, they said the liked me and wanted me to sign.”
Putting pen to paper capped a long waiting period for Wang as he was finally able to get back to football.
“It was just a waiting game,” he explained. “Lots of rehab and working-out, waiting for someone to call. My daily routine was just working-out in the morning and relaxing after.”
The Eagles present Wang with a new opportunity, playbook and home.
“I have visited [Philadelphia] twice, and it’s cool,” he said. “The people are very enthusiastic and love their Eagles.”
Originally selected by the Buffalo Bills in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL Draft, Wang was the first Chinese-American player ever drafted. He appeared in six games for the Bills in his rookie season, before he was cut by the team after being plagued by injuries.
Signed by the Oakland Raiders during the 2012 off-season, Wang’s career in Oakland ended prematurely after he failed to make the regular season roster. Wang looks for his career to take off with the Eagles.
“I know the hard work he’s put in through injuries, so I’m excited for him,” Stone Bridge head football coach Mickey Thompson said. “As a coach, I am very happy for him, but also as a friend, I am very glad for him and his family.”
Before the NFL, Wang was a three-year starter for Virginia Tech. He capped off his college career with an All-ACC second team nod his senior season.
However, Wang credits his true evolution as a football player and person to his high school days playing for the Bulldogs.
“Stone Bridge is where I played ball at,” Wang explained. “It helped shape me into the person and athlete that I am today.”
The 2004 Virginia Gatorade State Player of the Year, Wang began his football career as a tight end for Coach Thompson. Wang, now 6-5 and 315 pounds, credits his coach as the driving force behind his professional career.
“Coach Thompson has always been there for support,” he said. “He helped me through high school, college and the NFL. I have had many talks with Coach just about life and sports through the time we have known each other. He is like family to me.”
All eyes will be on Wang this training camp as he looks to represent his school on one of the world’s largest platforms.
“My goal is to make an impact here,” he concluded. “I want to win and will do whatever it takes to help the team win.”
-Aidan Donovan is a senior at Stone Bridge High School. Donovan is the editor-in-chief of the school's student newspaper.