Ezekiel ‘Ziggy’ Ansah has been called many things. He has been deemed young, talented, quick and most importantly raw.
It’s not necessarily a good thing to be raw. In fact, it’s not a good thing at all. However, the Detroit Lions‘ first-round pick has what it takes to turn that raw talent into serious production.
Ansah is a physical specimen and a tremendous athlete. You may be saying, how can he help lead a 4-12 team to the playoffs when he had very little production on the collegiate level? He racked up just 70 tackles and 4.5 sacks in his three-year college career at Brigham Young.
However, this guy’s talent level on the gridiron improved vastly over the course of those three years. Moreover, would you believe me if I told you he didn’t even begin to play football until 2010 when he made the football team after numerous failed attempts at basketball?
He is a product of Ghana whose first love was on the hardwood, but that didn’t pan out. He then tried his luck at a different sport: football. The 6-foot-6, 270-pound Ansah found a new home after adjusting himself to the physical style of his new sport.
In his first two seasons at BYU in 2010 and 2011, the defensive end recorded just 10 tackles in limited play. He had never recorded a sack and looked as if he would have no future beyond college on the football field.
Boy, was everyone wrong about that. The 23-year-old had a monster senior season, racking up 60 tackles and 4.5 sacks to go along with his first and only career interception. He was finally playing like the physical beast that he is and NFL scouts began to take notice.
Sure, he wasn’t the most productive college player, but that’s not what teams draft on nowadays anyway. It’s all about perceived skill and potential and Ansah has a wealth of both.
He gets to join the likes of Nick Fairley, Ndamukong Suh and veteran Jason Jones on the Detroit Lions’ defensive line. After losing Cliff Avril and Kyle Vanden Bosch, it looks like Ziggy is going to be the guy to anchor the end position next season.
In my opinion, this guy is going to be a star. With him and an improved overall defense, the Lions will make their way back to the playoffs after a disappointing 2012 season.