(Eds: Adds details, quotes. ) By LYNN DeBRUIN AP Sports Writer He grew up in Ghana, goes by ''Ziggy'' and actually tried out for the Brigham Young basketball team.
Yet the guy with a 39-inch vertical jump and arms that reach well above the rim instead has been wreaking havoc on the football field for a Cougars defense ranked fifth nationally and No. 1 against the run entering Saturday's game against No. 10 Oregon State (4-0).
To think Ezekiel Ansah didn't even know how to put on his pads three years ago.
''He had no idea,'' said BYU center Braden Hansen. ''Now the word I use to describe him is `beast.'''
The senior actuarial major has been racking up the stats in just his third season playing football - ever. The American sports icons he followed before arriving in Provo at age 19 were NBA stars named Jordan, Kobe and LeBron, and his first team at BYU was the track team, where he clocked 21.9 seconds in the 200 meters.
''It's been a long journey and sometimes I sit back and don...