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BYU star Ziggy Ansah reportedly didn't train for NFL combine

Published: Monday, March 4 2013 9:45 a.m. MST

FILE - In this Feb. 25, 2013, file photo, Brigham Young defensive lineman Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis. Ansah might be the NFL's least likely first-round draft prospect. He grew up in Ghana playing soccer, came to America to play basketball at Brigham Young and after getting cut twice, finally took the advice of his track coach and tried out for football. Now, this foreign-born athlete is on the verge of becoming a star. (Michael Conroy, ASSOCIATED PRESS) FILE - In this Feb. 25, 2013, file photo, Brigham Young defensive lineman Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis. Ansah might be the NFL's least likely first-round draft prospect. He grew up in Ghana playing soccer, came to America to play basketball at Brigham Young and after getting cut twice, finally took the advice of his track coach and tried out for football. Now, this foreign-born athlete is on the verge of becoming a star. (Michael Conroy, ASSOCIATED PRESS)

BYU defensive end Ziggy Ansah showed impressive physical ability at last weeks NFL combine, running the 40-yard dash in 4.56 seconds, the fourth best time among players at his position.

What makes this feat even more impressive is that according to Dan Pompei of the National Football Post, Ansah didn't even train for the event.

According to Pompei, Ansah spent most of his time focusing on his class work at BYU instead of preparing for the combine:

Many people were impressed with Ziggy Ansah's 4.56 40-yard dash at 271 pounds, and rightfully so. But they would have been more impressed if they knew Ansah didn't even train for the event. Unlike probably every other player in attendance, Ansah kept going to class and never worked with an outside trainer to prepare for the combine. In fact, the 40-yard dash he ran at the combine was the first of his life, according to his agent Frank Bauer. It should be noted, however, that Ansah did run 100-meter dash and the 200 meters on the Brigham Young track team before he became a football player.

According to Forbes, it can cost as much as $25,000 per player to get profession training before the combine. Of course, the potential pay off is well worth the investment for many NFL hopefuls. A good combine performance can be the difference between a minimum salary contract or multi-million dollar deal.

Ansah was reportedly not going to participate in the 40-yard dash but decided at the last minute to run anyway. At 274 pounds, the 6-foot-5 Ghanaian has been shooting up the draft boards since his combine performance, despite only having a limited amount of football experience.

"In comparison to other people that are out there, and I have been playing only a few years, I still have a lot to do just to catch up to them," Ansah said after the Senior Bowl to CBS Sports. "I'm gonna put everything I got to do my best."

After his MVP performance during the Senior Bowl, Ansah has been trying to learn as much as he can about the NFL.

"I try to stay up late and watch NFL Network," Ansah said. "I see some things. I have no idea who they are. This is going to be my life, so I just try to suck it all in."

According to NFL network analyst Daniel Jeramiah, Ansah is currently projected to drafted fifth overall by the Detroit Lions. BYU is hosting a pro day for its players on March 28.

Ryan Carreon is a web editor for DeseretNews.com. E-mail him at rcarreon@desnews.com

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