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.
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