After a stellar football career at BYU, Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah has not only made a name for himself in the NFL, but will go down as one of the greatest walk-ons to ever play college football.
In honor of college football’s 150th anniversary and lasting throughout the season, ESPN takes a look at the greatest teams, players, coaches, plays and games over the past 150 years.
During ESPN’s “The Greatest Series,” College football writers, broadcasters and ESPN personalities such as Rece Davis and Maria Taylor talked about the greatest college football players who began their careers as a non-scholarship walk-on athlete.
After all the votes were tallied, Ansah was ranked the 10th best college football walk-on ever and joined an elite group of individuals who all played in the NFL. The rankings were based on 150 votes from influential figures and minds from across college football, including current and former writers, broadcasters, administrators, sports information directors and ESPN personalities.
ESPN’s Rod Gilmore and Heather Dinich had a lot of great things to say about Ansah and why he was one of the best walk-on stories in college football history.
After making his way from Ghana, Ansah enrolled at BYU in 2008. After participating on the track team in 2009 — and after his dreams were crushed when he didn’t make the basketball team — Ansah joined the football team in 2010. Despite having never played football before, Ansah went on to set records and currently ranks as the highest BYU defensive player to be drafted in the NFL.
— Fan Insider (@FanInsider_) December 12, 2019
Playing in 31 games, Ansah recorded 72 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 10 pass breakups and seven quarterback hurries. The 6-foot-5, 275-pound defensive lineman also helped BYU to a No. 3 national ranking in total defense in 2012.
Ansah was then taken with the fifth overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions where he played for six seasons. Ansah, is currently with the Seattle Seahawks where he has appeared in just nine games due to injuries this season.
In his second game back after missing the start of the season due to an injury, Ansah stripped the football from Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb and recovered the fumble as well to help the Seahawks complete the comeback with a 32-28 victory. So far this season, Ansah has recorded 15 tackles, 2.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries for Seattle.