The NFL Combine starts Saturday and the nation’s top college prospects will be showing NFL teams what they’ve got. BYU’s Ezekial “Ziggy” Ansah is getting a lot of attention and going into the combine as a predicted first-round draft pick.
When the 2012 BYU football season started though, Ansah wasn’t even a blip on the radar for most of BYU’s opponents, let alone any NFL scouts.
When he first came to BYU, he had high hopes of playing in the NBA someday and tried out for the basketball team but didn’t make it, he ended up on the track team for a season until a friend told him to try football.
He walked on the team in 2010 having never played a down of football in his life and didn’t see any playing time. In the 2011 season, he played in 12 games, mostly on special teams, but didn’t do anything spectacular.
Nobody saw him coming.
At 6-foot-6 inches and 270 pounds he is a force to be dealt with on the field, and he has received some of the highest marks in the nation for the upcoming draft. The main complaint against him is because of his inexperience, as mentioned in a Yahoo Sports article on Ansah:
That is the daunting question revolving around BYU defensive lineman Ezekial “Ziggy” Ansah. In so many ways, Ansah is the latest version of Jason Pierre-Paul, a tall, fast and uber-athletic defensive end who didn’t have much experience with the game. The difference is that Ansah not only has even less football experience than Pierre-Paul, but also Ansah has less experience with this country as a native of Ghana.
After exploding onto the scene when an injury gave him the starting position, Ansah has continued to draw national attention. In December, Sports Illustrated did an in-depth article on him titled “The Next Zig Thing” and described him in these words:
IS A GHANAIAN SOCCER PLAYER WHO DREAMED OF NBA GLORY AND SUCCESSFULLY WALKED ONTO THE BYU TRACK TEAM ABOUT TO CONQUER THE NFL DRAFT? THE LONG AND WINDING TALE OF EZEKIEL (ZIGGY) ANSAH
At the start (and end) of the 2012 football season, most people expected BYU’s Kyle Van Noy to be one of the team’s top NFL prospects, but he surprised everyone when the school announced that he would be staying for his senior season.