2016: The year Ziggy Ansah absolutely dominates

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BYU LogoSince being drafted in the first round, fifth overall in the 2013 NFL Draft out of Brigham Young University, defensive end Ziggy Ansah has been an absolute force on the defensive side of the ball for the Detroit Lions. For not playing an ounce of organized football until 2010 at BYU, it’s safe to say that Ansah made the right choice in regards to what sport he ended up fully pursuing.

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Growing up in Ghana, West Africa, Ansah didn’t have much growing, but passed the time by being involved in some type of sport. He came state side in 2008 after being accepted to BYU on an academic scholarship. After basketball didn’t work out in his favor, Ansah took to track and succeeded, then he pursued the game of football. Not knowing anything about the game, there was definitely a learning curve for him.

Something that really goes unnoticed is that Ansah never played the game of football until his sophomore year in college. The way he’s dominated early on in three short years at the pro level, kudos need to be sent out to the BYU football program in how they developed a kid who came in blind to the sport of football and now is seeing as clear as humanly possible.

Ansah wasn’t even a player that attracted the attention of many NFL teams heading into the draft. He was looked at as an extremely ‘high risk’ pick at the number five pick, but Detroit needed a playmaker on the defensive line and they surely got their guy. Ziggy has excelled at becoming better and better each season, going back to his college playing days and has had no problem transitioning to the pro level. One thing is fore sure, many teams that doubted Ansah’s abilities are kicking themselves for not monitoring him more through the pre-draft process.

Ansah finished third in the entire league in sacks a season ago with 14.5, he trailed only Khalil Mack and J.J. Watt for the overall league lead in the sack department. Being in a statistical conversation with the likes of Mack and Watt, you gotta be some kind of special type of player on defense. Looking ahead to the 2016 season, expect Ziggy to be right up there again, contending for the league lead in sacks and be right in the mix of some other key defensive stats.

Ziggy has done nothing but get better and better since his college days and in his first three seasons as a member of the Lions. He’s become a nightmare for an opposing teams’ offense all-around. When teams see Detroit on the schedule for a given week, they have to game plan their offense accordingly, especially when they see Ziggy Ansah will be on the other side of the football ready to wreak havoc.

detroit-lions-logoSpeaking of ‘wreaking havoc’, head coach Jim Caldwell felt the same way as he took to the podium after the Lions concluded their first on-field day of 2016 Training Camp. Caldwell spoke about Ansah’s progression and how much of an important piece he is to the Lions’ football team. One of the last things the head coach touched on was how Ziggy is just “scratching the surface of where I think he’s capable of being” and concluded by saying, “I think he’s one of those guys that’s going to draw a whole lot of attention. You have to kind of know where he is, otherwise he’s going to be able to wreak a little havoc.” Those are some pretty big words coming from Caldwell that could end up being something that Ansah uses as ‘motivation’ as he prepares to dominate the league in 2016.

As a fan of the Detroit Lions, you should be psyched to get the 2016 season underway with Ansah taking center stage on the defense side of things, looking to take that next step towards ‘elite’ status and continue to play a dominate game of football. All Ziggy wants to do is be a player that goes out each and every game with the outlook of getting the Lions a victory.

“My main goal is to come out here and work as hard as I can to help this team win.” Ansah said.

You really can’t ask for much more than that. Ansah puts in the extra work needed to become that much better of a football player and you root for guys like that. The fact that he’s arguably the Lions’ best defensive player just makes you want to pull for Ziggy Ansah even more.

We have a superstar blossoming before our very eyes here in the Motor City.

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Posted by Daniel Willim
Born & raised in the mitten. Grew up in Traverse City, but moved down to the Redford, MI area after my Dad tragically passed away in 1999 because that's where he was being buried and we wanted to be down there with him. I'm an avid Detroit sports fan, growing up in the state of Michigan and having such a solid block of teams to root for is something special. Iv'e always liked discussing Detroit sports whether it be about the past, the present or even what the future holds for Michigan sports teams. It's a long time coming as I am very excited to be apart of the DSN team and be able to construct interesting features to be posted for Detroit Sports fans to read/discuss about.