Dick Harmon: Star Lotulelei, Ziggy Ansah are worthy of the draft recognition they'll receive Thursday night
Ansah’s impact was immediate. He began chasing down backs and quarterbacks. He drew double teams. He wrecked Georgia Tech’s option on the road and put on a show in the bowl win over San Diego State. His explosive speed stood out as something remarkable. Combined with his extraordinary wingspan, vertical and burst, he began to turn heads.
With no runway to get a head start on his reputation like Star, Ansah had only a few opportunities to make a splash. He did so, both with his unique story of showing up at BYU's practice and needing to have someone show him how to put on football pads, to his play on the field as a senior as his eligibility ebbed away.
Riding national publicity because of his “fun” and “unusual” story, Ansah has been seen as a curiosity. Then he went to the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., in January. There, he was mundane in practice, but stole the show in the actual game when he earned MVP honors.
Ansah took that performance and exploited it at the combine, running a 4.63 time in the 40, knocking it out of the park on cone drills and in interviews. On Wednesday, The Sporting News had him listed as the No. 1 defensive end in the draft. It could be said Ansah has been the most-publicized football player in the 2013 draft.
With Star’s resume and Ziggy’s meteoric rise, this is a draft that will provide compelling viewing — both early and late — with plenty of prospects from Utah State, Weber State, Utah, BYU and SUU hoping to hear their names called.
Congratulations to all, especially to Star and Ziggy, a pair of worthy headliners indeed.
Dick Harmon, Deseret News sports columnist, can be found on Twitter as Harmonwrites and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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