America, when thinking of a BYU football player, does not imagine a 6-6, 270-pound black man from Accra, Ghana with insane athletic ability. And considering the immense growth of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on the continent of Africa and in Latin America, the idea of Mormonism being stocked with white people is a concept with a USA-centric bias. In this sense, Ziggy has the ability to change perceptions to better align with reality.
That's what my colleague Zach Bloxham wrote about Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah three months ago after Ziggy had finished his stellar senior season at BYU. A month before that, Ziggy's name appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated for Jeff Benedict's feature-length article, which unofficially kicked off several months of publicity for the defensive end.
With just a week remaining before the NFL draft, the unlikely face of BYU football received loads of pub today on ESPN, and that process of changing perceptions is kicking in to full gear. Kyle Van Noy joined SportsCenter to speak about his former teammate, and a Sports Science segment on Ziggy aired.
If you haven't seen it, here's all the video:
Kyle Van Noy and Ken Frei on SportsCenter
Draft Highlight Reel