Star Lotulelei and Ziggy Ansah projected to be top five picks by ESPN draft expert (+video)

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  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    March 11, 2013 4:01 a.m.

    @ Byufanforlife

    Wrong. Star never went to BYU. He went to Snow College for one season, then transferred to Utah.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    March 11, 2013 12:03 a.m.

    @ ogmson

    Utah has already had a winning record in the PAC; with a D-II QB no less. Also, Utah's recruiting class has been better the past few years than ever before. It's hilarious that you would (inaccurately) cite Utah's inability to recruit as a reason they won't be able to compete and then claim USU will be a contender in their conf. when they just grabbed one of the worst recruiting classes in the nation.

    Your post is wrong in pretty much every possible way.

  • EdGrady Idaho Falls, ID
    March 10, 2013 2:32 p.m.

    McShay is a hack - Mike Maock of the NFL Network is a much better analyst.

  • Byufanforlife Pacific Grove, CA
    March 10, 2013 9:15 a.m.

    Whittingham didn't recruit star, he was a redshirt at byu before he transferred to Utah

  • ogmson Mapleton, Utah
    March 9, 2013 1:06 p.m.

    The future of football in Utah:

    The University of Utah will fall into obscurity and irrelevance for the next 20 years or until they leave the PAC 10 + 2. There will never be a Rose Bowl nor will the team have another winning record even if all three games scheduled outside of conference are weak D2 programs or the Montana and Idaho States of the inter-Mountain West. Dropping BYU and Utah State will help their record, but not enough to offset the 2-7 or 1-8 Pac 10+2 performance.

    Utah State Will become relevant and compete consistently in Conference. Their two decade subpar performance is now a thing of the past.

    BYU will continue to be the consistent performer on and off the field posting regular double digit wins year after year with only an ocassional 8/9 win season sprinkled in.

    It's too bad for the U too. Had they not elected to become the door mat of the PAC 10+2, they would have remained capable of recruiting good players. Not anymore. Quality players want to play for winning teams...If in doubt just check out the Vandy record for 40 years.

  • OCoug Ogden, UT
    March 8, 2013 8:33 p.m.


    Good points, both players are a boon to the state. Don't let Naval get you down, finding things to argue about is a past-time of many (both U and Y ) commentators.

  • NK84 layton, UT
    March 8, 2013 12:00 p.m.

    Naval Vet:

    I understand that he did once he went to Snow. And chose to go to Utah instead. My point was that no matter how they ended up at the schools they went to, they had successful careers so it must have been the right choice.

    Stop looking for an argument and comment on the article. Not what isn't in it. Congratulate them for their accomplishments. Thats all I was attempting to do.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    March 8, 2013 10:26 a.m.


    But Star DID qualify academically after his time spent at Snow, and had a scholarship waiting for him in Provo, but he just didn't want to go there anymore. Star rejected the Y; not the other way around.

  • NK84 layton, UT
    March 8, 2013 9:37 a.m.

    Unless I read this incorrectly, it wasn't comparing the 2 schools or the players involved in it. All of this bickering about who's team is the future is bull. Star didn't qualify academically when he was coming out of High School for BYU. So he went to Snow and then to the Utes to have a great career. Congrats to him.
    Ziggy didn't even know what football was and walked on at BYU, and had a great senior year. Congrats to him. Lets focus on the actual article and congratulate the athletes. That is what the article is about.

  • ApacheNaiche PINETOP, AZ
    March 7, 2013 6:33 p.m.

    Great news for both players. It's too bad they might end up in Kansas City and Detroit.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    March 7, 2013 5:08 p.m.

    Ansah reminds me of Pierre-Paul and then I see that comparison made here.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    March 7, 2013 4:10 p.m.


    "2 BCS Bowl wins in 10 years....btw nobody cares"

    If nobody cared, than nobody -- like ESPN for example -- would have dubbed the Utes the "Original BCS Buster", and neither would they have lauded the Utes for having been the 1st BCS Buster to do it again. And clearly, Y fans care. It really eats away at their sanity and ego.

    "2 losing seasons last 10 years"

    Utah had only 1 losing season over the past 10 yrs. You've mistaken your big brother for your own Indy-WACey program, who over the past 10 yrs finished with 2 losing seasons, and one season at .500. And had you not jammed your alumni in the Replay Booth back in 2010, you would have had 3 losing seasons (and one season at .500). Thank you Chad Bunn.

    "2 bowl no-shows last 10 years"

    Utah went 8-1 in the postseason (including 2 BCS bowls) over the past 10 yrs. The Y went 6-2. And YOU'RE calling US a "no-show"? What then does that make you? You have 25% fewer bowl wins than we!

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 7, 2013 3:32 p.m.

    @Bluto: "To avoid BYU's superior academics"?

    Is BYU now the MIT of the West?

    Star's father received a graduate degree from BYU, so I seriously doubt he raised a son that couldn't handle "BYU's superior academics".

    Easy road would have been if Star left to the NFL last year, instead he stayed and finished his degree.

    I hope he ends up at KC or if he drops then my 9ers pick him up.

  • Elmer Fudd Sandy, Utah
    March 7, 2013 2:32 p.m.

    Naval Vet

    Bluto and others are desperately trying to justify BYU for failing to recruit Star by making excuses. Now they're seeing Star as a potential #1 overall draft pick coming out of Utah not BYU.(Star would be Utah's second #1 overall draft pick in the last 8 years). BYU has never had a player go #1 overall in the draft (even during their glory years). We're witnessing some jealousy from little brother down south! It's amusing actually!

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    March 7, 2013 2:19 p.m.


    "2 bottom of the big boy conference last 2 years"

    One actually. And in both those years, we had you beaten by the 3rd Qtr, so I wouldn't go there either.

    What a miserable last quarter century it's been for you. I wouldn't know what that's like, but I'd imagine it must be pretty rough.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    March 7, 2013 12:31 p.m.


    If the Y's academic standards didn't intimidate him BEFORE Snow when he COULDN'T qualify, why would it intimidate him AFTER Snow when he actually DID?

    More frantic and emotional sour grapes from little brother I see.

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    March 7, 2013 12:00 p.m.


    And why did Star end up at Snow College, instead of BYU?
    Because he was not "academically" eligible for BYU.

    And when he left Snow College, why did he then go to Utah?
    To avoid BYU's superior "academics".

    He knew that by going to the U, he would have fewer challenges academically.

    The "Parable of the Easy Road".

  • ekute Layton, UT
    March 7, 2013 10:53 a.m.


    Congrats to the Y their standards. Where's yours?

    I doubt Star has any regrets.

    Go Utes.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    March 7, 2013 10:15 a.m.


    Nope. Star had an offer to join the cougars coming out of Snow College, but he chose to play on the Hill anyway. The Y did not reject Star. Star rejected the Y.

  • dww722 North Salt Lake, UT
    March 7, 2013 10:11 a.m.

    Utes...2 undefeated seasons in 10 years
    2 BCS Bowl wins in 10 years....btw nobody cares
    2 losing seasons last 10 years
    2 bowl no-shows last 10 years
    2 bottom of the big boy conference last 2 years
    2 losing seasons in a row coming up

    Utes definitely trending downward with no change in sight
    Ute boys need to quit bragging about being in a conference they can't compete in

    Hope y'all enjoyed your 15 minutes of's over!!

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    March 7, 2013 9:38 a.m.

    If not for BYUs high academic standards, Star Lotulelei, and Ziggy would be representing the Cougs.

  • Whoa Nellie American Fork, UT
    March 7, 2013 9:25 a.m.

    And I wish they could both go to Da Bears. I hope Star's condition is properly diagnosed and treated so that he may have a prosperous NFL career. And I hope Ziggy is an all pro several times before Utah beats BYU again.

  • ekute Layton, UT
    March 7, 2013 8:02 a.m.

    I'd like to see both go to the Broncos, along with Kruger. Best of luck to all three.

    Go Utes! Go Utes! Go Utes! Go Broncos!

  • Spokane Ute Spokane, WA
    March 7, 2013 7:32 a.m.

    Great to hear, but remember, this is a projection. Either way both players have a bright future in the NFL. I wish the Seahawks could get either one, but both will be long gone by the time the Hawks pick. Best of luck to both!

  • AZSouthCougar Sierra Vista, AZ
    March 7, 2013 7:33 a.m.

    It is nice to see Ziggy doing so well. With the success the BYU "D" had last season and this season at east they will make it to another bowl game.

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    March 7, 2013 6:42 a.m.

    Which Utah college has more players in the nfl right now?

  • shorts Payson, UT
    March 7, 2013 6:26 a.m.

    Best wishes to both players. I hope the Steelers get one of these players.

  • CougarBlue Heber City, UT
    March 7, 2013 6:25 a.m.

    Dear Chris, I do believe this could be the 3rd time in ten years with a 1st round pick.. Despite the.
    Impressive stats you still have no national championship. And the future of Utah
    Football is a perennial bottom dweller in the PAC 10 + 2.

  • ekute Layton, UT
    March 6, 2013 11:49 p.m.

    Congrats to both. They both worked hard and earned their accolades. Ziggy was rejected twice before he was accepted as a walk on. Star was also rejected by byu, went to work moving furniture, enrolled Snow college then finally became a STAR at Utah.


    Give it up! We love our Pac12. Or should I start in again about how the Utes own the cougars on the field and how jealous and insecure the cougar fans are with their independence?

  • Floyd Johnson Broken Arrow, OK
    March 6, 2013 10:05 p.m.

    Teams do not take risks in the top 5. Neither of these players will be in the top 10.

  • james d. morrison Boise, CA
    March 6, 2013 9:25 p.m.

    I sure would like to know who this Chris B. character is that has so much time to always write on the DNews boards. Must not have a job. So, Chris, if Star does sign a contract for millions of dollars, how does that really affect you? It doesn't, so why get so excited about it. It has no impact on your life. And if Ansah doesn't go as high as Star, why point it out and rub it in. It smells of nothing but pathetic schadenfreude.

  • UtahUte16 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 6, 2013 8:27 p.m.

    It's great that we have a couple studs coming from the state of Utah. Hopefully Star's health ends up being okay. Ansah is stud; kind of reminds me of a less developed Will Sutton (ASU D line freak). But with more experience, Ansah could be one of BYU's biggest NFL players.

    Here's to Star and Ezekiel; good luck guys.

  • Jazzsmack Holladay, UT
    March 6, 2013 8:11 p.m.

    Don't listen to cowboy.

    In pronouncing Polynesian names you do not emphasis any syllable,

    and you enunciate each vowel equally.

    so lotulelei is pronounced:


  • Downtownchrisbrown ,
    March 6, 2013 7:54 p.m.

    Bronco didn't start Ziggy earlier because he doesn't show well in practice. That is also what all of the experts were saying in prep for the Senior Bowl. Nobody knew he would be this good in game situations until he was in them.

  • SportsFan Orem, UT
    March 6, 2013 7:15 p.m.

    You forgot one, christy:

    Two times in 6 years - embarrassed by 10-loss teams.

    The future of Utah football is in steady decline.

  • Canyontreker TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    March 6, 2013 6:35 p.m.

    RT "With all of these star recruits entering the NFL, how do you explain mediocre seasons and finishing at the bottom of the Pac 12 every year."

    That has never happened...yet.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    March 6, 2013 6:31 p.m.

    A lot of great players being produced by Utah, BYU, and USU in the past few seasons. Exciting time for football in this state as a whole.

  • OCoug Ogden, UT
    March 6, 2013 5:59 p.m.

    Congrats to both of them, hope they both go top five. Great recognition for the state as a whole.

  • trentster TUSTIN, CA
    March 6, 2013 5:38 p.m.

    I love Star, he such is a tremendous person as well as a great talent. I do recall, perhaps I am mistaken, and if I am wrong I will surely be corrected by Ute nation. Was not Star initially going to attend BYU, but for some issues relating to grades pursued the JC route and ended up at the U a few years later? With that in mind, we all can find joy and happiness in his success. Correct? As for Ziggy, my question to Bronco is, "what took you so long to put him in the starting line up?" If it had not been for an unfortunate injury to a teammate he would have completed his career running on special teams and helping some of his fellow players with difficult homework assignments. Kind of sad to think about how many other Ziggys there are out there having worn the uniform and not played.

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    March 6, 2013 5:27 p.m.

    Let's wait on Star's health before declaring him the #1 pick. I wish he'd worked out as a Cougar, but wish him all the best in succeeding at the next level.

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    March 6, 2013 5:21 p.m.

    Chris B
    Salt Lake City, UT
    "Two times in 10 years with the #1 pick. Two times in 10 years undefeated seasons. Two times BCS games. Two times BCS wins.

    The future of football in Utah,

    is Utah"

    Chris you're wrong and it's time to start making a play by your own rules. Everything you cited is in the past and if we're talking about the PAST in football, in Utah, that's BYU, not even close.

    If you want to talk about the present of football in Utah, well, you don't want to talk about that. That would be Utah State. Who BYU beat.

  • bigv56 Cottonwood, CA
    March 6, 2013 5:19 p.m.

    Why are these ute fans always so insecure?

  • JParkerfan St. George, UT
    March 6, 2013 5:02 p.m.

    If Star is drafted 1st, lets hope he doesn't embarrass the state like that other "1st overall" pick. Lol. If some of you are that amused, I recommend getting out more.

  • cowboy99 South Jordan, UT
    March 6, 2013 5:03 p.m.

    Vladhagen and ji bae

    I played football with Star in high school and the emphasis is on the third syllable.

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    March 6, 2013 5:01 p.m.

    Heart conditions are always extremely serious.
    See Hank Gathers.

    I would be stunned if anyone took Star with the #1 pick, with the gloom of his heart condition hanging out there.

    He's a family man, some things are just more important than football.

    I never saw Star projected by anyone higher than #3 first round, and that was before his condition popped up..

    Good luck to both of them.

  • Cowboy Dude SAINT GEORGE, UT
    March 6, 2013 4:54 p.m.

    If Lotulelei goes to KC with Alex Smith, they should show some games in Utah. Paul Kruger should go too.

    Go Big Red!

  • Obama10 SYRACUSE, UT
    March 6, 2013 4:49 p.m.

    Yahoo Sports has Star #10 to the Titans and Ziggy #12 to Miami, so Chris B, can we please hold off on the pontification until draft night? I agree with 54-10, 2 guys from local schools going in the top 15 is great for the state.

  • Obama10 SYRACUSE, UT
    March 6, 2013 4:41 p.m.

    @ Chris B As well as the U seeing lots of donations from the three players you mentioned, so will the LDS church as these three players all pay 10%. Plus, lets hold off on the #1 pick until it happens. Today on MSN they had Star #15. These mock drafts are just guesses.

  • RT Salt Lake City, UT
    March 6, 2013 4:43 p.m.

    You are all making a big deal about how good the Utah recruiting is. With all of these star recruits entering the NFL, how do you explain mediocre seasons and finishing at the bottom of the Pac 12 every year.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    March 6, 2013 4:06 p.m.


    Save the preaching for church. I believe Star will go on to make tens of millions and I'm not afraid to state that belief . I'm making my comments AFTER an incredible career at the U and AFTER many experts think he'll be drafted high. Stop being so preachy, you sound like a byu fan.

    My guess is his heart problem WILL be fixed, it WON'T be a serious issue, and he'll sign a HUGE contract.

    Go UTES!

  • ji bae Saint George, UT
    March 6, 2013 3:55 p.m.


    'The ESPN people seemed very shaky in pronouncing Star's surname. Obviously they have no consultants telling them how to say the name Lotulelei. Emphasis on third syllable.'

    And I was told the emphasis was on the 2nd syllable, but other relatives say it the way you mentioned...

  • Wallbanger Spanish Fork, UT
    March 6, 2013 3:43 p.m.

    @ Naval Vet
    Well put! I absolutely agree with all that you said. Especially the "Let's leave all those proverbial "September national shampionships" accolades to our WAC-wannabe neighbors to the south."
    Too funny that was...and good luck to Star as well.

    Go Utes!

  • Utehaterforlife West Valley, UT
    March 6, 2013 3:22 p.m.

    So Chris B
    With all those donations, what will that do for the Ute program, will it be another year at home watching bowl games?

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    March 6, 2013 2:57 p.m.

    Chris B:

    Lotulelei is not making ANYTHING right now. Wait until if/when he gets drafted first before putting him on that list of successful fmr-Ute NFL players. I read the article. I know what it says about Star getting drafted in the 1st round, but that was just Todd McShay's "opinion". As of right now, despite one of ESPN's draft experts calling for him to be the #1 Draft pick -- which would be awesome by the way -- Star still DOES have that issue regarding his health that COULD impact his draft position...or whether or not he'll be drafted at all.

    Let's leave all those proverbial "September national shampionships" accolades to our WAC-wannabe neighbors to the south. If you're a Ute fan, you need to do your celebrating AFTER the game had been played, AFTER a top recruit signed his LOI, and AFTER Draft Day's conclusion.

    Good luck Star!

    Go Utes!

  • canadiancougar624 Raymond, 00
    March 6, 2013 2:52 p.m.

    I'll be a fan of whatever teams draft these two players

  • Vladhagen Salt Lake City, UT
    March 6, 2013 2:52 p.m.

    The ESPN people seemed very shaky in pronouncing Star's surname. Obviously they have no consultants telling them how to say the name Lotulelei. Emphasis on third syllable.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    March 6, 2013 2:43 p.m.

    Is first better than fifth?

  • gonefishn Salt Lake City, UT
    March 6, 2013 2:38 p.m.

    Bottom line is Kiper has over reacted to Star's "condition" and Ansah's combine. If Everything checks out with Star, is there any reason Ansah should ever be drafted above Star? Even if Ansah fills a position of need, Ansah over Star is ridiculous.

  • bballjunkie Pleasant Grove, UT
    March 6, 2013 2:27 p.m.

    I would love Ziggy to go to my Lions!

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    March 6, 2013 2:22 p.m.

    With all these Utes making tens of millions(Krueger, Weddle, Lotulelei...) Chris Hill can expect to see some very significant donations in the coming years, as Weddle has already done!

    Go Utes!

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    March 6, 2013 2:22 p.m.

    Add another guy Whittingham recruited and got drafted.

    Saban also has many.
    So does Les Miles
    So does Gary Patterson
    So does Steve Spurrier
    So does Chris Peterson
    Gary Anderson even has a few.

    Guess which local coach hasn't recruited and had drafted a single player?

    And no, Ziggy doesn't change that. Ziggy had to ask to join. With that recrod of Bronco Mendenhall, Ziggy should be thankful bronco didn't recruit him!

    Go make your millions Star! Making Ute Nation even prouder!

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    March 6, 2013 2:18 p.m.

    Two times in 10 years with the #1 pick. Two times in 10 years undefeated seasons. Two times BCS games. Two times BCS wins.

    The future of football in Utah,

    is Utah

  • 54-10 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 6, 2013 2:14 p.m.

    2 guys from local schools going in the top 15 of the NFL draft wwould be great. Good luck to both of them.