Jeff Benedict: Sports Illustrated to profile football odyssey of BYU's 'Ziggy' Ansah

Destiny seemed to point 'Ziggy' Ansah toward BYU — and maybe an NFL career

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  • Utah'95 FPO, AE
    Dec. 5, 2012 12:51 p.m.

    Ziggy's story is wonderful! I wish him all the best, and am glad my Utes don't have to face him again....

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    Dec. 4, 2012 2:57 p.m.

    Bronco is headed for Colorado

  • tlaulu Taylorsville, Utah
    Dec. 1, 2012 12:55 p.m.

    I'm not sure why we're mentioning Jabari in the same breath as Ziggy in this article when it's Ziggy's profile. Don't get me wrong. I love Jabari dearly. But this is Ziggy's moment. If it was Jabari's profile and Ziggy was mentioned I would comment the same way.

  • dww722 North Salt Lake, UT
    Nov. 30, 2012 10:35 a.m.

    So Rural, how do you explain Bronco starting Riley for the past 1 1/2 years when he played as though he had no clue of plays and siturations, definitely was a danger to himself and was a detriment to his team?

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Nov. 30, 2012 10:14 a.m.

    I agree with Oregonian, Bronco has obviously turned this guy into an NFL commodity. The guy didn't even know what football was 3 years ago. Some of these comments are ridiculous.

    Oh and trentster, Ziggy's "skills" aren't what have NFL scouts taking notice, it is his potential and athleticism, he still is very raw in the "skills" department but is improving. You know up at utah they have a physical freak that came over from the rugby team. utah "fans" have been telling us he is a stud waiting to happen for the last 2 years. Last year he was a rb, this year he was on the dline. Neither year has he played, except a little bit of special teams. This guy is American and is not new to football. Why hasn't that legendary NFL player maker whittingham been able to make that guy into a player?

    Any way you look at the Ziggy story he is undoubtedly a Mendenhall succes story. Go ahead and criticize Bronco for things he deserves to be criticized for, like the Nelson fiasco, but give him credit here, he deserves it.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Nov. 30, 2012 10:05 a.m.


    You're here, that pretty much dispels the myth you are trying to propogate.

  • Oregonian Sherwood, OR
    Nov. 30, 2012 9:54 a.m.

    I'm at a loss with some of the comments from BYU fans about Bronco. Try saying this out loud:
    "Bronco took someone who didn't even know how to play football 3 years ago, didn't even know how to put pads on, and turned him into a potential first round draft pick in the NFL". It's actually very impressive what Bronco and the BYU coaching staff did for Ziggy.

  • utahby6 SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 30, 2012 5:25 a.m.

    Ken Frei, the entire Frei family are the real deal - I know them. As a football fan I can appreciate this story. I don't consider football "America's most violent team sport" I'd say hockey/rugby; unless Jeff is refering to American made... Anyway the great story here is the insight of how great things happen when great people go out of their way to help total strangers. Great people offer this help based on love of God and love of their fellow men without worrying about what they will get for helping. We can all do better in this area.

  • SportsFann Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 30, 2012 12:24 a.m.

    Jeff Benedict is my hero

  • trentster TUSTIN, CA
    Nov. 29, 2012 11:55 p.m.

    Mr. Rural, I am sorry that I may not be as sophisticated football-wise as you. Is not football about tackling, blocking and in short, knocking the crap out of quarterbacks, which Ziggy does to the extent that scouts are drooling over his skill level to the point that he is a projected 1st round pick? All this being accomplished while being in the program for around 3 years, which should have been sufficient time for the braintrust to realize his amazing skills. NW brings up a great point that no Bronco recruit has been drafted, so much for evaluation savvy.

  • NWCougar Wilsonville, OR
    Nov. 29, 2012 10:04 p.m.

    Quote from Coach Mendenhall from the article: "This is a guy I never took seriously." Really? A 6-6, 270 lb muscular specimen walks into your office in Provo, UT, perhaps the greatest athlete ever to set foot on campus, and you don't take him seriously? I'm sorry, I don't care how much football this young man had played (zero) before joining the team. He should have been playing against Idaho State and every other no-name team we played the last couple of years to give him experience. How much harm could he do? That's what I've been thinking these past couple of years every time someone mentions this guy. And we get to see his "potential" halfway through this waste of a season.

    Another thought. Last time I checked, we have yet to see a Mendenhall-recruited BYU football player drafted in the NFL. Ziggy wasn't recruited by Bronco; he practically ignored Ziggy. It would seem Bronco doesn't know talent when it falls in his lap. Amazing. I'd love to see Lark go ballistic on SDSU and land a free agent contract.

  • Rural sport fan DUCHESNE, UT
    Nov. 29, 2012 6:44 p.m.

    Trenster and informed voter, you may want to get informed on how football works, it is a lot more sophisticated than you apparently think. A kid with physical talent but no clue what the plays and situations are is danger to himself and the team; if he goes to the wrong gap or plays the wrong technique, bad things happen. Give the staff the benefit of the doubt, they gave the guy time to learn football and the system before they threw him in full time, and it seems to have worked out.

  • runnerguy50 Virginia Beach, Va
    Nov. 29, 2012 6:05 p.m.

    Ole Bronco wasn't even starting a NFL lock huh ? Belichek needs to invite Lark to camp.

  • johanBjorn Salt lake city, UT
    Nov. 29, 2012 5:21 p.m.


    This is a story about BYU, but there are no Utah trolls on here... How does that work?

    Good luck at the next level, Ziggy.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 29, 2012 4:53 p.m.

    Ziggy came out of nowhere. I was shocked by his talent early in the year, and as it wore on, I started thinking here is an NFL caliber player.

  • u mad bro? WVC, UT
    Nov. 29, 2012 4:36 p.m.


    even as a cougar fan I gotta laugh at that.

  • Proud Ute ,
    Nov. 29, 2012 4:25 p.m.

    Good story.
    Good luck to this young man.

  • starthillnotnelson Kamas/United States, UT
    Nov. 29, 2012 2:33 p.m.

    Does Ziggy have a younger brother?

  • Informed Voter South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 29, 2012 1:18 p.m.

    Totally agree with trenstre. I was going to say the same thing and then I read his comment. Sticky is an indication of the coaching staff's inability to judge talent and/or to,refuse to start someone for other reasons. I wish Ziggy all the best.

  • trentster TUSTIN, CA
    Nov. 29, 2012 1:01 p.m.

    Typical of this coaching staff and the brilliant talent evaluating skills of their dually annointed Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator that he did not start until the fifth game of the season. How can that fact be explained? You watch the NFL and Ziggy-type players who cause havoc every Sunday are the most coveted and feared. Players who are 270, tall, strong and possess closing speed. Great article.

  • phoenix Gilbert, AZ
    Nov. 29, 2012 11:22 a.m.

    Even during a disappointing season, a BYU football player provides an inspirational story worthy of a Sports Illustrated cover.

    Congrats Ziggy! Well done.

    I only wish you had been "discovered" when you were a Sophomore, but I guess that, starting from scratch, that would have been an even more incredible story.

  • Cougarista Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 29, 2012 9:32 a.m.

    Good to be Blue.

  • SoUtBoy25 Cedar City, UT
    Nov. 29, 2012 9:10 a.m.

    Fantastic story and one more reason to follow the Cougs through thick and thin.

  • BlueCoug Orem, UT
    Nov. 29, 2012 8:55 a.m.

    Pretty cool that a player who didn't even know how to put on his shoulder pads when he joined the BYU football program could be leaving the program as a probable first round NFL draftee.

    Congratulations Ziggy!

    Good luck at the next level.

  • dustman Nampa, ID
    Nov. 29, 2012 8:30 a.m.

    I meant second line. hahaha.

    @JohnInSLC: too funny.

  • dustman Nampa, ID
    Nov. 29, 2012 8:29 a.m.

    Not the most classy opening line of an article Jeff Benedict. uuugh.

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 29, 2012 8:04 a.m.

    It's a good thing Riley Nelson didn't want to play on the D line, or Ansah would never have seen the field!

  • 3grandslams Iowa City, IA
    Nov. 29, 2012 7:35 a.m.

    Tremendous insight. Very cool to have some insight to the incredible Ziggy story. Looking forward to the book. Another notch in the success belt for Bronco Mendenhall.

  • localblue Sandy, UT
    Nov. 29, 2012 5:06 a.m.

    I hope all this early attention to both Jabari and Ziggy does not prove to be their downfall. I know they are great personalities but the pressure to succeed with enormous early attention can sometimes be too much. Injuries, etc., anything can be the end of a career. I hope for the best for these two.