Ansah's unique story is benefiting the BYU football program, according to Poppinga.
"It's really fun to see him get all the publicity that he's getting," he said. "It helps him out, but it also helps our program out to see a guy that's going to be a potential first-round draft pick. For recruiting purposes, just getting that out there throughout the country is big for us."
Since Ansah finished up his collegiate career in December, the BYU coaching staff has been staying in touch with him.
"I bumped into him at the mall before the Combine and I've been texting him and calling him, letting him know we care about him and that we wish him the best," Poppinga said. "For him to do what he did in the NFL Combine, I couldn't be happier for the kid. I saw him do the outside linebackers drills right after his D-line drills, and the first ball he dropped. I was thinking, 'Didn't you learn anything from me?' I texted him that night and said, 'When you get back, we have to do our ball drills again.’ ”
BYU is holding its annual Pro Day on March 28. Poppinga said Ansah is planning to participate in that event in Provo.
"He's mad that he ran a 4.63 in the 40-yard dash (at the Combine)," Poppinga said. "He says he'll get a 4.5 on Pro Day. That's what he wants to do. But we'll see what his agent tells him."
Mendenhall marvels at all that's happened to Ansah in a relatively short period of time.
"It's an amazing thing that he wasn't recruited, then he finds himself at BYU," Mendenhall said. "To see him having the success he is having is so much fun. It's an amazing story. As Ziggy would probably tell you, he was on the verge of quitting football 50-plus times over his three years here because of how difficult the transition was. It would be a best-selling book, or a box-office smash if anyone of real quality told the story. That I was able to be part of it in some way has been one of the highlights of my career here."
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @AJeffreyCall
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