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Ziggy Ansah's mom was hoping her son would be drafted by an NFL team in Utah

Published: Sunday, Aug. 2 2015 6:50 p.m. MDT

BYU's Ziggy Ansah is introduced as the fifth overall pick by the Detroit Lions in the First Round of the NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. 

April 25, 2013 (, Jaren Wilkey/BYU) BYU's Ziggy Ansah is introduced as the fifth overall pick by the Detroit Lions in the First Round of the NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. April 25, 2013 (, Jaren Wilkey/BYU)

Apparently Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah's family is still trying to figure out this American football thing.

Ansah, the former BYU defensive end from Ghana who knew nothing about American football when he enrolled at BYU, was chosen fifth overall by the Detroit Lions in the 2013 NFL draft.

Ansah's family is of course excited about his success, but according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Ansah's mother, Elizabeth Cole, asked BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall if there was a possibility that Ansah could be drafted by a team in Utah.

“As I was trying to explain the draft and how many teams there were, she even asked at one point, ‘Can he be drafted by the team in Utah?'" Mendenhall told the Detroit Free Press. “I explained we don’t have a professional team in Utah.”

Ansah said that the whirlwind of media attention after the NFL draft is unlike anything he or his family had ever experienced.

“I know this is fairly new for her and it’s a lot for her, but what I can say to you is that she’s really proud of me,” he said in his introductory press conference in Detroit “I’m just happy to have come this far. This journey just begun, right?”

Cole said she is still trying to figure out how football works.

"We don't play football in Africa," Cole told the Associated Press. "I didn't know anything about football. When I'm watching the game, I am only watching Ziggy, not the game because I don't understand it."

Cole, who has only seen her son twice since he left Ghana for Provo, plans on coming to Provo after the draft to tour BYU and hopefully learn a bit more about her son's future profession.

"I want to see where my boy became a football player," Cole said "I was expecting him to be a basketball player and he ended up on the football team. I am happy for him."

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

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