We're are in the middle of the NFL season, but good things are still happening for several of the former Cougars in the League, starting with every BYU fan’s favorite Ghanaian, Ziggy Ansah.
Ziggy Ansah was named to the NFL Network's list of the top 100 players in the NFL as voted on by the players themselves. Ansah comes in at number 43 on the list, wedged between Bengals' tight end Tyler Eifert and Cowboys' tackle Tyron Smith. This is the first time Ansah has made the list.
Ansah's 14.5 sacks were good enough for third in the NFL and first in the NFC. The third year defensive end was also one of the few bright spots in a disappointing year for the Detroit Lions. With those kind of numbers, 43 may be a little low.
You can watch the video on Ansah’s selection here.
Ansah's teammate Kyle Van Noy is also making some news in Detroit. Van Noy has had a lackluster first two seasons in the NFL that have been marred by injury, but is grabbing the attention of his coaches during this offseason.
According to Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com, Lions' coach Jim Caldwell said that Van Noy came into OTAs "in the best shape he’s ever been in".
Twentyman also had this to say about Van Noy:
Van Noy is looking more comfortable playing off the ball. That will be a big factor in deciding if he wins the starting SAM spot next to Tahir Whitehead (MIKE) and DeAndre Levy (WILL).
Hopefully Van Noy will earn that starting spot on the Lions' and the upcoming season will be a breakout year for the former Cougar.
In some frivolous off-the-field news, two former Cougars got some attention for their involvement with ABC’s “The Bachelorette”. Brett Keisel made an appearance on the popular reality show, running the men vying for the current Bachelorette, JoJo Fletcher’s heart through some football drills.
Meanwhile Dennis Pitta tweeted out this photo of one of his weekly Bachelorette watch parties he hosts for his Ravens’ teammates. Pitta is apparently a big fan of the Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise and hopes to be invited to a taping of the show’s “The Men Tell All” episode.
Terenn Houk is getting a second chance with the Chicago Bears according to the Deseret News. Houk had a previous tryout with the Bears back in back in May, but the team asked him to put on weight and work on his blocking. Let’s hope Houk can find a home in Chicago.
Former Cougar, Mitch Mathews, who is fighting for a roster spot with the Kansas City Chiefs, took some time to encourage a young BYU fan named Dylan who is a much more important fight. Like Mitch, we wish Dylan the best and hope he kicks cancer’s butt.
On our way home last night after a long day at the hospital we got a call from my brother. He informed me that one of the awesome players on his @realsaltlakewmn RSL Women's team who had found out about Dylan and knew we were all big BYU fans had asked if she could get Dylan some BYU swag. She's a former BYU soccer play and she reached out to her boyfriend and former BYU wide receiver standout and now current member of the Kansas City Chiefs, Mitch Mathews. They saw some pics of Dylan and learned about his story. Mitch, whose Mother was also recently diagnosed with cancer wrote Dylan a quick note and signed a wallet for him and sent it out to us. It absolutely made our night. We loved watching Mitch play with the Cougs and wish him the best with Coach Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs. Good luck Mitch! Continue making Cougar Nation proud. Huge shout out to @mitchmathews10 and @madie_lyons. Thanks for sending some good vibes our way. Props to my bro @coachmarkdavis11 for helping make it happen. #GoodVibes4Dylan #CancerSucks #BeatCancer #CougarNation #BYU