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Ezekiel Ansah a Lion: Ziggy drafted 5th overall by Detroit

After coaching him in the Senior Bowl, the Detroit Lions' coaches made the move to draft BYU's shining star early in the first round.

Brad Penner-USA Today Sports

Ezekiel Ansah will be heading to Detroit to play professional football, as the Lions drafted Ziggy fifth overall in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Ansah is the highest-drafted player in BYU history, tying Jim McMahon's fifth overall selection by the Chicago Bears in 1982. The defensive lineman was introduced by all-time football great Barry Sanders as the Lions' draft choice.

In his time at BYU, Ansah appeared in 31 games, totaling 72 tackles. In his senior season, Ansah tallied 13 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, nine pass breakups, one interception, and one forced fumble while spending time at defensive end, outside linebacker, and nose tackle.

His story from Ghana to basketball cut list to track team to football has been well-told as Ansah shot up draft boards after displaying transcendent athleticism and a knack for learning the game.

2012's fifth-overall selection, Justin Blackmon, signed a contract for four years, $18.5 million.

Next we await the possible drafting (or later, free-agent signings) for players like Braden Hansen, Braden Brown, Uona Kaveinga, Brandon Ogletree, Romney Fuga, Riley Stephenson, and Reed Hornung.

Thanks, Ziggy, for sticking with football and putting BYU on such a big stage. Go get 'em.