ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- A week before coaching him at the Senior Bowl in January, Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz hadnt even heard of Brigham Young defensive end Ezekiel Nana Ziggy Ansah.
On Thursday night, Ansah completed his fascinating rise when the Lions selected him with the fifth pick overall in the NFL Draft.
Its been a humbling experience, a crazy journey, Ansah said.
Ansah hadnt even heard of football while growing up in Ghana, Africa. He didnt watch his first football game until 2008, when he came to the United States on an academic scholarship. He didnt start playing football until 2010, after trying out twice for the BYU basketball team and spending a year on the track squad.
Before last season, his first year as a starter in football, Ansah wasnt even viewed as a NFL prospect, much less the No. 5 pick.
Asked what he would have said a few years ago if someone had told him how this would all turn out, Ansah answered, I dont know what youre thinking, man.
He added: But...