BYU football: Ziggy's journey has taken Ansah from practice session novelty to top NFL draft pick
Ansah completely dominated the course of play from the first snap and was gushed over by the game commentators and many reporters on Twitter and elsewhere. He was named the game's MVP and led off the Senior Bowl write-ups for more than a few national news services.
"The real story of the South team's 21-16 victory over the North squad was the defenses for both teams, and no player better personified that better than game MVP Ezekiel 'Ziggy' Ansah, the BYU sensation and former track star from Ghana who exploded off the snap over and over again," wrote Doug Farrar of Yahoo Sports.
"Though he appeared to have issues maintaining leverage in practices this week, Ansah really showed up when it counted, grabbing six solo tackles, 1 1/2 sacks, and 3 1/2 tackles for loss," Farrar continued. "At his best (which he most certainly was on Saturday evening), Ansah validated the comparisons to current New York Giants and former South Florida end Jason Pierre-Paul. The Giants took Pierre-Paul with the 15th overall pick in the 2010 draft, and he's proved that freakish athleticism and hard work can overcome limited experience in the game. Ansah looks to be on that same high-drafted path."
Indeed, Ansah saw his draft prospects skyrocket after the Senior Bowl and it's been a steady progression since.
Looking back on what Ansah has become is nothing short of incredible. Time and again he's proved able to overcome initial struggles and doubts before thriving in situations when it matters most.
I strongly suspect that next time Mendenhall tabs one of his players as an "NFL talent," few, if any, will be snickering. I also suspect that beat reporters, for whatever team drafts Ansah, will soon be filling up their notebooks with "Sack 47" — or with whatever phrasing they use to designate an Ansah sack — during practice sessions.
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