Ezekiel Ansah, Margus Hunt show youth can wait to start football
Our take: Former BYU defensive lineman Ezekiel Ansah is one of the latest examples of football players making it to the professional level despite not playing the sport more than a few years. In the past several months, celebrities like former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner to United States President Barack Obama have expressed their opinions that they would not encourage their sons to play football at a young age. NFL.com analyst Akbar Gbajabiamila says that Ansah and SMU's Margus Hunt have shown the raw ability to succeed in the NFL, even though they are relatively new to football, and their stories show that youth don't need to be subjected to the physical nature of football so soon in life.
Defensive ends Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah and Margus Hunt will show up at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis this week with a combined seven years of football playing experience. They'll leave knowing they will be two of the more sought-after hybrid defensive players in the draft (Mike Mayock lists both among his top five defensive ends).
Ansah and Hunt won't be the first players to find their way to the NFL with ultra-limited exposure to America's game, but they'll be the latest, and they just might help redefine the starting age for playing youth football. At the very least, their stories should give parents pause when considering the question of when to play ball.
Ansah is a defensive end from BYU whose stock has been on the rise since a standout performance in Mobile. I was very intrigued by his story because of our similarities. Both of us have origins in West Africa (I was born in the United States to Nigerian immigrant parents; he is originally from Ghana), we both played the same defensive end position, and we both started playing football fairly late.
- Past few days 'difficult' for former...
- Defending champ Serena Williams at Wimbledon...
- Chile wins 2nd straight Copa America title as...
- Messi's retirement from Argentina could hurt...
- Most common names of NBA players this season
- Injured Lochte plows ahead in 200 free at US...
- Djokovic beat James Ward to open bid for 5th...
- Durant, Anthony lead US Olympic basketball team
- Kalani Sitake on BYU-Utah rivalry: 'I... 81
- Sitake not intimidated by BYU's arduous... 59
- Morning links: Colin Cowherd compares... 59
- Dick Harmon: 1996 Cotton Bowl champion... 51
- Morning Links: BYU basketball fans... 44
- Sitake making transition from longtime... 20
- Utes have a lot of depth on the... 18
- Utah football: Williams, McCormick... 18