BYU football: No longer a football novice, Ziggy Ansah has NFL potential

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  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 14, 2012 2:59 p.m.

    The most predictable thing about an article like this -- about a nice individual -- is that t-r-o-l-l-s will crawl out from under their bridges and try and make the article about their respective football teams, from whom they hope to bask in some borrowed glory. Get a clue. Nothing your football team does will make you smarter, richer, better looking, or more attractive to women.

    Take a page from Aloha St. George: Aggie fan, complimentary of and happy for Ziggy. I'm a BYU fan, and I still hope Alex Smith finishes at the pinnacle of his trade, just as John Beck and Eric Weddle root for one another. Alex is from our state, I followed his career as player for a rival, and I wish him well.

  • Samwise Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 13, 2012 12:31 a.m.

    Actually Ziggy is not the only one on BYU this year with NFL potential, nice try though. Also he is not a lineman, he is a linebacker. Van Noy at the very least will also be playing in the NFL in the near future (hopefully not too soon though, I hope he decides to stay for his senior season), as well as maybe a few others on Defense. As far as the offense goes, likely Hoffman will at least get a chance, and depending on how he develops Jamal Williams I think has an outside chance. Maybe one or two others on offense.

    On a personal note, I know Ziggy personally. He is a great guy but can be a bit of a goof ball sometimes. Obviously very smart and a hard worker too.

  • Proud Ute ,
    Oct. 11, 2012 9:35 p.m.

    I always love a good story where an unknown or unheralded individual does well no matter the school or whether it's sports, arts or academics.
    Good luck to Ziggy, hope he completes his education and gets a chance to play in the NFL if that's what he wants.

  • Neers Fruit Heights, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 5:21 p.m.

    Ziggy is awesome! Jeff Call is also a great writer; I enjoy reading his stories.

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 5:05 p.m.


    Since 1922--when BYU finally admitted it played football, Utah has won 24 conference championships, BYU 23. BYU finished in the Top 10 three times in a 14 year span: 1983, 1984 (yes, the Y won the NC that year, but didn't get the crystal trophy until 2 decades later, hah!) and 1996. Utah also has 3 Top 10 finishes in : 1994, 2004 and 2008.

    So, the best measuring stick between the two is head-to-head record during that time: Utah leads, 53-31-4. As your revered Jimmy Mac famously said, "Scoreboard!"

  • backpacn Sandy, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 4:08 p.m.


    It's nice that Ike Armstrong was recognized with a lifetime achievement award in 1957, but not a single one of his teams didn't anything of note on a national scale.

    Utah has never had a single player receive a national individual award or be inducted into National College Football Hall of Fame, and as a team, the Utes didn't even crack the AP Top 25 for the first time until 1994, and even then, they weren't good enough to win the WAC championship.

    It wasn't until 2004 that the Utes won a conference championship AND finished higher than 20th in both polls.

  • Truth Machine Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 2:58 p.m.

    Me, Myself and I

    Cite one significant accomplishment the Utes had on a national scale before 2004.

    As for your starting date for BYU and Utah football history, 1898 is incorrect for both programs.

    Utah played its first football game in 1892, the year in which the Utes had their first and only win against the SLC YMCA - Utah is 1-6 versus the YMCA.

    BY Academy (little more than a high school at the time) did play Utah in 1896, 1897, and 1898, with BY Academy winning three of the five games.

    BYU didn't start playing football until 1922, THIRTY years after the Utes began their football program.

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 2:55 p.m.

    "You're just jealous that Utah has no legacy when in comes to football. Utah fans live in this fantasy world . . ."


    Evidently your selective definition of "legacy" only includes the 1980's. Utah's coach Ike Armstrong was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1957, back when Utah FIRST owned BYU and well before Y fans even knew it had a football team.

    As far as fan jealousy, your screen name tells us all we need to know about YOUR jealousy.

  • Aloha Saint George Saint George, Utah
    Oct. 11, 2012 2:22 p.m.

    "Ziggy didn't just sack (Aggie quarterback Chuckie Keeton)," said Cougar linebacker Kyle Van Noy, who is Ansah's roommate. "He wrapped him up, swallowed him, and dumped him on his head."

    I am an Aggie fan and watching Ziggy- the above comment was no exageration. This kid is a presence on the field. I love nothing more than to watch good football. You can tell this guy is solid- in passion and technique. He probably didn't have to break a lot of bad football habits when he learned as a greeney. Hope he continues to do well.

  • Me, Myself and I The Promised Land, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 1:30 p.m.

    @ midpacmajor

    actually for BYU and Utah football history began in 1898. Since then both programs have accomplished great achievements both as individuals and as teams. Each has some achievements the other would like to have but doesn't. I like your passion as a fan but when we take that passion and let it blur the reality of things we end up saying things that make us sound foolish and toss credibility in the trash. I offer the same advice to my fellow Utah fans.

    This article was about a great story of a young man who is overcoming his challenges and just might end up taking his skills to the highest level possible. Let's all try to keep on topic and enjoy a great story about this great game when we have a chance.

  • phoenix Gilbert, AZ
    Oct. 11, 2012 1:00 p.m.


    FIVE of 7 Top 25 Finishes for Bronco versus only THREE for Kyle indicates that 8 of 11 isn't that significant in the overall picture.

  • midpacmajor Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 11, 2012 12:54 p.m.


    These days, NFL scouts are flocking to Provo to watch Ansah and learn more about him. ESPN commentators are gushing about his jaw-dropping burst into the backfield. Ansah's playing style has drawn comparisons to Jason Pierre-Paul of the New York Giants.

    "While he remains a raw, unpolished player at this point, an NFC South scout described Ansah as an 'athletic freak' with unlimited upside," wrote analyst Bucky Brooks. "If he can continue to put flashes of dominance on tape over the course of the season, it wouldn't be surprising to see Ansah enjoy a late run up the charts heading into the 2013 NFL Draft."

    DNews hype or whiny Utah fan jealousy - it's obvious which is correct.

    While you're making comparisons, tell us how many Utah players have been NFL and Super Bowl MVP's.

    You're just jealous that Utah has no legacy when in comes to football. Utah fans live in this fantasy world where national college football history didn't begin until 2004.

  • Juggernaut Cedar Hills, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 12:33 p.m.

    re: Solomon Levi

    First of all, 8 out of 11 slightly indicates that we are not little brothers. just a heads up. This was an interesting story though.

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 12:12 p.m.


    Way to take us back to the Reagan Administration. Not many NFL-caliber lineman since then.

    While you're looking that up tell me how many No. 1 draft picks your "legacy" program has produced, ever? [hint: rhymes with "hero"]

  • SportsFan Orem, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 11:47 a.m.


    It cracks me up that a PAC 10.2 fan is so jealous of Ziggy, an unheralded walk on, being mentioned as having NFL potential. The DNews simply encapsulated the comments of others in their headline.

  • Utah'95 FPO, AE
    Oct. 11, 2012 11:43 a.m.

    Great story. I wish Ziggy the best of luck. He's a great athlete, and a lot of fun to watch.

    I'm glad my Utes don't have to face him next year!

  • Solomon Levi Alpine, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 11:41 a.m.


    Remind us once again which program has had TWO Outland Trophy winners (awarded annually to the nation's top interior lineman), and which program has NEVER had a single national individual award winner.

    It cracks me up that our little brothers up north are so insanely jealous of any national attention received by BYU.

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 11:27 a.m.

    A nice, heartwarming story.

    However, it cracks me up that the DNews headlines it with mention of "NFL potential." They must get real excited that a cougar lineman might actually have a shot at playing on Sunday.

  • royalblue Alpine, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 11:19 a.m.

    Kyle Gunther couldn't block Ziggy if his life depended on it.

  • gundy ogden, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 10:59 a.m.

    Great article!! Ziggy is proving all of the local media wrong that doubted him at the start of the season. There is no way he gets drafted!! He has no technique, I am fat and haven't played football for a few years and I can block him. -Kyle Gunther
    Way to go Ziggy!!

  • Solomon Levi Alpine, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 10:34 a.m.

    Great story!

    Ziggy is a prime example that the number of stars next to your name isn't the end-all-be-all of football potential.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    Oct. 11, 2012 10:33 a.m.

    Localblue, I think you're taking the "I don't trust you" too literally. I have to assume he was speaking purely as a coach, as in "We'll give you a shot, but I'm not going to assume you're going to have the fire or discipline to learn how to play this game." Bronco trusts players based on actions, and he had nothing to base any trust on with Ziggy. Admittedly, Bronco's "trust" might go too far sometimes, sticking with "his guys" even if they aren't performing, but in general this is the way it should be.

    To come into a sport with no experience and hope to succeed at the D-1 level, you would need to be uncommonly determined, regardless of athletic chops. No-one should be given that trust before it's earned.

  • CT98 Saint George, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 9:56 a.m.

    Ziggy's gotta get a touchdown before he graduates. He almost had one last week but it was called back. Once he gets a fumble recovery it will be tough for anyone to chase him down as he rumbles in for 6. I'm crossing my fingers for this weekend....

  • OKLAHOMA Cougar Fan Piedmont, OKLAHOMA
    Oct. 11, 2012 8:42 a.m.

    The "Blind Side" actually embellished Michael Oher's lack of football playing experience. Oher will be the first to tell you "Football was his game all his life." He knew how to play football, he just had nowhere to live.
    Ziggy's story is fun because he had never seen a football 3 years ago, and now he is possibly heading to the NFL. I am a big fan. I love watching him chase down QB's and running backs in the backfield. What a STORY this is!

  • deseret pete robertson, Wy
    Oct. 11, 2012 7:27 a.m.

    Maybe he ought to be a running back occasioally --- can you imagine him barrelling down on you.

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 7:15 a.m.

    Great story! It is fun watching you play Ziggy. Just know that there is a lot more to life than playing in the NFL.

    You have so many good opportunities to make the world better. Just keep doing your best and love life.

    If you have chance to play in the NFL then be prepared for the hardest time of your life. It for sure won't be like BYU where all your teammates are trying to help you get better.

    The NFL is a business and everyone is trying to protect their own job. You will be a threat to them. Go talk to Andrew Rich about his experience. I think that is what most people go through. It will be a lot of hard work for a few moments and flashes glory.

    Good Luck to you!

  • Buffalo1 McLean, VA
    Oct. 11, 2012 6:59 a.m.

    I sure wish that Ziggy were a Sophomore instead of a Senior. Two more years of experience at the college level would help Ziggy and really help BYU. Regardless, I sure hope that he stays injury free, and gets his shot at the NFL. Great kid, by all accounts.


  • localblue Sandy, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 1:36 a.m.

    I don't understand the I don't know you and I don't trust you. Ok, I get I don't know you. But I don't trust you? Is Bronco some kind of high-horse prima donna where everybody who first meets him has to first earn his trust before he'll work with them? Maybe it's just his way of motivating but at least the way the story reads you'd think he could have at least given the guy a little pep talk at first rather than dissing from the get go. I'm guessing it's not exactly as written and Bronco is just trying to please the news media with his initial comment to the kid.

  • SundanceKid27 OREM, UT
    Oct. 10, 2012 11:46 p.m.

    Bronco can thank the head track coach for finding this kid.