The Next Zig Thing

Is a Ghanaian soccer player who dreamed of NBA glory about to conquer the NFL draft?

He grew up playing soccer in his home country of Ghana and successfully walked on to the BYU track team, but Ezekiel (Ziggy) Ansah’s future in professional sports could lie in being a first-round pick in the next NFL draft, writes Jeff Benedict. He was recruited to BYU by a sophomore serving his Mormon mission in Ghana in 2007, who played pickup basketball with Ansah and thought the Ghanaian’s 6′ 6″ 250-pound frame would lend itself to football. Ansah walked on to the Cougars’ team in 2010, and over the final nine games of the 2012 season, was third on his team in tackles (48), second in sacks (4.5) and first in tackles for loss (13).

While he’s not a star in the sport he grew up dreaming about – basketball – Ansah is drawing serious interests from NFL scouts, who are flocking to BYU to check him out. Says one scout: “The combination of his height, weight and speed is probably unmatched. Plus, he’s so strong. He’s got that Jason Pierre-Paul type of physical upside” (page 46).


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