The Next Zig Thing: Ziggy Ansah in the national spotlight

Dec 03, 2012 - Posted by Brett Pyne on December 3, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Updated: December 7, 2012 3:00 pm

If you have already had the chance to pick up this week's Sports Illustrated you know that BYU senior defensive end Ezekiel Ansah is featured in a four-page article in the issue currently on newsstands. If you haven't had the chance, pick it up. Ansah is also mentioned on the cover, which features the Indianapolis Colts' quarterback Andrew Luck.

A brief preview of the Sports Illustrated article entitled "The Next Zig Thing" is included below. 

THE NEXT ZIG THING – JEFF BENEDICT (@authorjeff)

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. 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.”

NPR's ONLY A GAME (@DougTribou, @OnlyAGameRadio)

Ansah and the author of the article, Jeff Benedict, also spoke with Doug Tribou on NPR's "Only a Game" as the national radio program originating from Boston's 90.9 WBUR featured Ansah this weekend. 

“I think he has become the kind of football player that NFL teams long to find,” said Jeff Benedict, who wrote profiled Ansah for Sports Illustrated. “He’s got this very unique combination of speed, size and strength. It’s very rare that you find a guy who’s that tall and that big and can run as fast as he does, especially laterally.”

Select the following link to read more about and listen to the NPR interview: NPR's Only a Game

In addition, here are some video highlights of Ansah.