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Ziggy Ansah’s mom was hoping a team in Utah would draft him

Ziggy Ansah AP

The cutest story of the NFL draft may come from the mother of Lions first-round draft pick Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah, who traveled from her home in Ghana to New York City to be there with her son.

Ansah had never seen a game of American football before he enrolled at BYU, and his mom still doesn’t know much about the sport, other than that her son is good at it. In fact, she didn’t come to America this week with visions of seeing Ezekiel put on an NFL jersey. She came wanting to see him put on his cap and gown as a college graduate.

I am extremely proud of him for graduating from college,” Elizabeth Cole, Ansah’s mom, told the Deseret News.

She’s less excited that he’s going to Detroit — not that she has anything against the Lions, just that she knows her son thrived in Provo, Utah, at BYU, and she was hoping her son could stick around in a place where he had been made to feel at home as a college student from far away. According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Elizabeth asked BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall after the Lions took Ansah if it was still possible that Ezekiel could also be drafted by a team in Utah.

Ziggy had to explain to his mom that it doesn’t quite work that way, but he was just happy to see her, for only the second time since he left Ghana for BYU four years ago.

“I’m so happy that she is here,” Ansah said. “I can’t put it into words. You can’t explain the feeling.”

Asked to describe her son, Elizabeth said that among other positive traits, he’s “always gentle.” As long as he saves that gentle nature for off the field and goes hard after the opposing quarterback on the field, Ansah will be welcomed as warmly in Detroit as he was in Utah.

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80 Responses to “Ziggy Ansah’s mom was hoping a team in Utah would draft him”
  1. jeremywflores says: Apr 26, 2013 1:04 PM

    The Utah Jazz do suck. Corbin is a terrible coach.

  2. walker615 says: Apr 26, 2013 1:07 PM

    Priceless.

  3. mobuccsfan says: Apr 26, 2013 1:07 PM

    This is kind of funny. It is a nice story though. Agreed–if he gets after the QB well then Detroit will come out looking smart with this pick, that is being criticized a lot already. We won’t know how this draft turns out for about three to four years anyways, as is always the case.

    On another note, could you ever imagine a pro team for the NFL in Utah? Nah, I couldn’t either. Don’t think one would do well there.

  4. classactcalvin81 says: Apr 26, 2013 1:09 PM

    I really like this kid! Heres to a good career with The D bro!!

  5. mataug says: Apr 26, 2013 1:10 PM

    Isn’t he the guy who wore 3D glasses last night lol

  6. ctiggs says: Apr 26, 2013 1:11 PM

    Well im sure she meant the Broncos.

  7. skrappie32 says: Apr 26, 2013 1:12 PM

    ziggy meet suh that should take care of the mister nice guy on the feild stuff.

  8. 4daytheory says: Apr 26, 2013 1:12 PM

    And… That’s adorable.

  9. @Cereal_22 says: Apr 26, 2013 1:13 PM

    The Utah Latter Day Saint’ers dont have any cap room

  10. stevent92 says: Apr 26, 2013 1:13 PM

    Don’t rule out the Jags or Chargers.

  11. seanx40 says: Apr 26, 2013 1:13 PM

    An NFL team in Utah would have the same problems that the NBA team has. No free agents would ever want to go there.

  12. mp4philly says: Apr 26, 2013 1:13 PM

    My mom would have said the same lol

  13. wludford says: Apr 26, 2013 1:13 PM

    Anywhere but Detroit, anyway.

  14. imjinbrdgr says: Apr 26, 2013 1:14 PM

    Don’t worry Mom. In couple years he might be playing for The Salt Lake Lions. Has a nice ring to it.

  15. rkt4mayor says: Apr 26, 2013 1:14 PM

    Utah is a great place.

    I personally believe that a NFL team could thrive here and the New England Patriots were very interested in the early 1990s when Victor Kiam owned them, in moving to Utah.

    The LDS church discourages working on Sundays but makes many exceptions to this rule:

    (see Young, Steve)

  16. donjuan1906 says: Apr 26, 2013 1:14 PM

    Now that get’s an official yes indeed! I needed that laugh, LOL!!!!!

  17. burnzy32 says: Apr 26, 2013 1:14 PM

    he’s in good hands with Washburn, and next to Suh and Fairley, I almost wish we would bring KVB back for a role model role at a vet minimum

  18. ickky says: Apr 26, 2013 1:15 PM

    Welcome to the Black and Blue Division

  19. wludford says: Apr 26, 2013 1:15 PM

    Wonder how long it will take for the Mormon to start getting arrested and DUIs like the rest of the Lions. Momma won’t like that.

  20. rkt4mayor says: Apr 26, 2013 1:16 PM

    But, even if Utah got a NFL team, (which I doubt would ever happen), I’d still bleed Eagles green.

  21. heat256 says: Apr 26, 2013 1:18 PM

    Anyone else have to pause for sec while trying to think if Utah had a team? Epic fail.

  22. barneyrumble says: Apr 26, 2013 1:18 PM

    So Ansah is a gentle, good guy, perfect balance for Su, who is not known as a gentle, good guy? If Ansah puts in the work, with Su on the other side, pair o’ beasts!

    Gotta love Moms! Good story.

  23. vicnocal says: Apr 26, 2013 1:20 PM

    Ziggy’s mom must not be a big fan of that foosball.

  24. vdogg says: Apr 26, 2013 1:21 PM

    This kid has no chance of developing on that team, Suh and Fairley should be dominating everyone they come up against and they simply havent. Wish the kid all the best, just probly not going to the best of situations.

  25. virusgvr says: Apr 26, 2013 1:21 PM

    If you are looking for a stand up guy that will have a pro bowl within his first 3 years that won’t fall into the cracks and get in trouble… This is the guy.

  26. silverhornet says: Apr 26, 2013 1:22 PM

    The Provo Jaguars…

  27. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Apr 26, 2013 1:23 PM

    I hear Cordarrelle Patterson was hoping to be drafted by a Utah team, too…

  28. anthonyjnovelli says: Apr 26, 2013 1:24 PM

    BYU didn’t pay him enough, so he had to use some 3D glasses from the movie theater and take the lens out. they said “REAL 3D” on the side. I am glad I am not the only one who saw this.

  29. apmn says: Apr 26, 2013 1:24 PM

    She is just happy that a team from Los Angeles didn’t draft him.

  30. bosfaninva says: Apr 26, 2013 1:24 PM

    I bet she could do a great reading, a la Jules in Pulp Fiction, of Ezekiel 25:17, the path of the righteous man….

  31. mwatts1 says: Apr 26, 2013 1:25 PM

    Oh moms!

  32. gvboot says: Apr 26, 2013 1:25 PM

    I feel so bad for the mom. Now she’s going to find out what misery is all about.

  33. isphet71 says: Apr 26, 2013 1:27 PM

    Some of the Detroit ‘burbs are a lot like Utah. Detroit itself… not so much.

  34. pftwd3 says: Apr 26, 2013 1:28 PM

    Would be nervous about my favorite team drafting him that high, but I really like him and hope he does well. He’s a great story and if Detroit lines him up wide he may do very well.

  35. dolphins4 says: Apr 26, 2013 1:31 PM

    I think the Utah Jaguars sounds good.

  36. myeaglescantwin says: Apr 26, 2013 1:32 PM

    congratulations sir.

    way to make mother proud.
    keep working , keep grinding.

  37. tuckrulesurvivor says: Apr 26, 2013 1:37 PM

    laugh now cry later .

  38. dablitz2 says: Apr 26, 2013 1:38 PM

    Mitt Romney should start an expansion team in Utah!

  39. NoobTubeTV says: Apr 26, 2013 1:41 PM

    So were Lions fans.

  40. rkt4mayor says: Apr 26, 2013 1:41 PM

    Reality Check for all those bashing Utah:

    This is a great sports place and the fans are some of the most loyal and loud in this country.

    The Jazz have thrived here and for all of the perceived free agent avoidance they have been a regular playoff team nearly every season since moving to Utah.

    They also sell out almost all of their games even on Sundays.

    An NFL team would do well in Utah. But, when L.A. doesn’t have a team the odds of Utah getting one are nil.

    Having said that, if a miracle happened and Utah got a team, it would not be the smallest market in the league and would comfortably support an NFL team.

  41. mobuccsfan says: Apr 26, 2013 1:41 PM

    I’d think San Antonio and Las Vegas (despite the gambling issue, which could be troublesome/hard to pull off) and L.A. would probably get an NFL franchise before anyone else; or sadly London. I hope the NFL drops that over the pond/world league garbage though. It would end up being unfair to do too many teams, as well as said team with travel, etc etc. Just not worth it. Those countries love soccer; let them have their Futbol and keep our Football in the states–with the occasional Bills game in Toronto.

  42. radrntn says: Apr 26, 2013 1:42 PM

    the “utah underdogs” led by sweet polly purebred.

  43. godevilsasu says: Apr 26, 2013 1:43 PM

    Biggest bust of the draft: Ziggy Ansah

  44. shayeezy says: Apr 26, 2013 1:43 PM

    this guy is scary. even as raw and inexperienced as he is, i can see him becoming an impact player in the NFL very soon.

  45. shayeezy says: Apr 26, 2013 1:44 PM

    also, gunther cunningham is pumped.

  46. mvp43 says: Apr 26, 2013 1:52 PM

    Well, under the tutelage of the Detroit Lions, he’ll soon end up on tthe police blotter….

  47. nolahxc says: Apr 26, 2013 1:52 PM

    Just a mom being a mom… always looking for the best for her son!

  48. jagfan4212 says: Apr 26, 2013 1:53 PM

    I think the Utah Jaguars sounds good.

    ______________________

    I guess this is supposed to be a reference to attendance and the prospect of moving. And its but another display of ignorance since the Jaguars were 20th in attendance last year with a miserable team yet the Dolphins were 29th and Tampa was 31st.

  49. gvboot says: Apr 26, 2013 1:55 PM

    mwatt1. thanks

  50. mcdeez22 says: Apr 26, 2013 1:58 PM

    Move over Mrs. McNabb and Momma Cruz, there’s a new lovable Chunky Soup football mom in town. Campbell’s needs to sign this lady tomorrow.

  51. gvboot says: Apr 26, 2013 1:59 PM

    That’s how I said it before you did. LOL!!!!

  52. glac1 says: Apr 26, 2013 2:00 PM

    I see they’re not the brightest crayons in the box. Sad.

  53. rkt4mayor says: Apr 26, 2013 2:01 PM

    Any New England Patriots fans in here?

    Patriots fans should be well aware that Utah is capable of luring an NFL team.

    After all, if Utah voters would have approved public financing for a new stadium in 1990-91, the New England Patriots would’ve become the Utah Patriots.

    And, Patriots fans with a memory know it…

  54. edithpiaf51 says: Apr 26, 2013 2:02 PM

    aw that is cute)

  55. scottplayersfacemask says: Apr 26, 2013 2:07 PM

    Don’t worry mom, he’s going to room with a boy named Suh.

  56. heyguru1969 says: Apr 26, 2013 2:18 PM

    If we find out later that he’s come to America to play football, but is the heir to the throne of King Jaffe Joffer (a.k.a. James Earl Jones), it’ll take a bit of the wind out of these sails.

  57. bobonmycob says: Apr 26, 2013 2:20 PM

    classactcalvin81 says: Apr 26, 2013 1:09 PM

    I really like this kid! Heres to a good career with The D bro!!

    Bro? lol… Okay

  58. phillycass says: Apr 26, 2013 2:33 PM

    my father thought if the eagles played the steelers in the superbowl they would play the game in state college. so i get it.

    note, i played and watched football every weekend from hs – college and he went to most of the games.

  59. bosfaninva says: Apr 26, 2013 2:48 PM

    “Some of the Detroit ‘burbs are a lot like Utah. Detroit itself… not so much.”

    Detroit: Motown and Mitch Ryder
    Utah: Osmonds

  60. mark921129 says: Apr 26, 2013 2:48 PM

    blah, blah, blah…police blotter….

    blah, blah, blah…Detroit sucks….

    blah, blah, blah…Suh is mean….

    this is worse than “Drew Brees needs an explanation.” Perhaps you guys need to mix in some creativity before you post…sheeesh

  61. phinfan says: Apr 26, 2013 2:55 PM

    my father thought if the eagles played the steelers in the superbowl they would play the game in state college. so i get it.

    —-

    Brilliant concept but I think happy valley is Pitt territory. I think a halfway zone would be harrisburg so maybe more like Shippensburg Stadium ;)

  62. geniusesq says: Apr 26, 2013 2:55 PM

    He may have an old face, but to his mama, he’s still a baby.

  63. jhtobias says: Apr 26, 2013 2:58 PM

    And as a follow up Lions fans blames the refs for this incident also

  64. deepfreezerob says: Apr 26, 2013 3:04 PM

    I want to see him succeed more now, not just because he got drafted to my Lions. I get tired of all the Pot shot the Metro Detroit Area takes. I want to see him prosper in an area that gets not love nationally

  65. denverwally says: Apr 26, 2013 3:11 PM

    Ya gotta love moms. They are always thinking of whats best for their kids.

  66. shogunassasin30 says: Apr 26, 2013 3:15 PM

    Anyone that wears spec-less 3D movie glasses is an idiot whether you’re from Somalia, ‘murica, Ghana or wherever. Idiot

  67. rkt4mayor says: Apr 26, 2013 3:21 PM

    bosfaninva says:
    Apr 26, 2013 2:48 PM
    “Some of the Detroit ‘burbs are a lot like Utah. Detroit itself… not so much.”

    Detroit: Motown and Mitch Ryder
    Utah: Osmonds
    —————————————————-

    Some guy in here is actually arguing that Detroit is a more desirable place to live than Utah?

    Ha ha ha!

    Get out often?
    Utah: Mountains
    Detroit: Crack houses

  68. jimmylions says: Apr 26, 2013 3:47 PM

    This kid’s mom is absolutely adorable!

    For a Utah NFL team, I’m thinking the Nephi Packers has a nice ring to it.

    Of course like movie rentals in Utah, the NFL games would all have to be censored to remove content unbefitting the LDS.

    And yeah … I’ll take Detroit’s history of great rock and roll over Utah’s history of calling rock and roll devil worship!

  69. mackcarrington says: Apr 26, 2013 3:52 PM

    glac1 says:
    Apr 26, 2013 2:00 PM
    I see they’re not the brightest crayons in the box. Sad.
    ============================

    Not as sad as the fact that you lack reading comprehension. The mother lives in Ghana and knows nothing about American football. Ziggy is graduating from college. Graduating.

  70. bosfaninva says: Apr 26, 2013 3:53 PM

    “rkt4mayor says: Apr 26, 2013 3:21 PM

    bosfaninva says:
    Apr 26, 2013 2:48 PM
    “Some of the Detroit ‘burbs are a lot like Utah. Detroit itself… not so much.”

    Detroit: Motown and Mitch Ryder
    Utah: Osmonds
    —————————————————-

    Some guy in here is actually arguing that Detroit is a more desirable place to live than Utah?

    Ha ha ha!

    Get out often?
    Utah: Mountains
    Detroit: Crack houses”

    Some racist Mormon thinks there are no crack houses in Utah! LOL, thanks, Whitey.

  71. jsbrasha says: Apr 26, 2013 3:53 PM

    Ansah is Ghanaian and Suh is Nigerian. NEVER make the mistake of confusing or combining the two. They’ll have a lot of cultural baggage to overcome as teammates.

  72. ctiggs says: Apr 26, 2013 3:58 PM

    rkt4mayor says:Apr 26, 2013 3:21 PM

    bosfaninva says:
    Apr 26, 2013 2:48 PM
    “Some of the Detroit ‘burbs are a lot like Utah. Detroit itself… not so much.”

    Detroit: Motown and Mitch Ryder
    Utah: Osmonds
    —————————————————-

    Some guy in here is actually arguing that Detroit is a more desirable place to live than Utah?

    Ha ha ha!

    Get out often?
    Utah: Mountains
    Detroit: Crack houses

    LOL whats funny is i used to bash detroit until i actually lived there. Oakland county is one of the BEST & wealthiest, counties in the country , and i lived in LA county as well. Yes the city of Detroit is on very hard times , but i would choose Detroit over LA anyday. Real fans real city real people. #goniners

  73. rkt4mayor says: Apr 26, 2013 3:59 PM

    jimmylions says:
    Apr 26, 2013 3:47 PM
    This kid’s mom is absolutely adorable!

    For a Utah NFL team, I’m thinking the Nephi Packers has a nice ring to it.

    Of course like movie rentals in Utah, the NFL games would all have to be censored to remove content unbefitting the LDS.

    And yeah … I’ll take Detroit’s history of great rock and roll over Utah’s history of calling rock and roll devil worship!
    —————————————————-
    You do realize that music can be listened to anywhere don’t you?
    And tell me one band that hasn’t been able to perform in Utah for being perceived as “devil worship”?

    I think you are confusing the Mormons with the Baptists…or you’ve watched Footloose one too many times….

    But, even though Footloose was filmed in Utah, the setting was actually supposed to be Southern or Midwestern.

  74. rkt4mayor says: Apr 26, 2013 4:11 PM

    I’ve been to Detroit. While the outlying suburbs aren’t bad, the city of Detroit while once proud and quite nice I’m sure is now simply a hollow shell of its former glory.

    That is not racist to admit the plain truth.

    Detroit has whole blocks that are nothing but decrepit, and crumbling houses.

    And, all you can dish on Utah is misinformed religious bigotry and stale Osmond jokes from the 1970s?

    Have any of you bashing on Utah, even been here before?

    At least I went to Detroit before I decided to bash it.

  75. rkt4mayor says: Apr 26, 2013 4:14 PM

    By the way: Mitt Romney is from a suburb of Detroit. Born and raised.

    He has never had his primary residence in Utah except for a brief stint in college and during the 2002 Winter Olympics.

    But, Utah would be proud to claim him.

    Just like Detroit would, if it wasn’t ruined by 60 years of liberalism and welfare dependency.

  76. mazblast says: Apr 26, 2013 4:30 PM

    godevilsasu says: Apr 26, 2013 1:43 PM

    Biggest bust of the draft: Ziggy Ansah
    —————————————
    OK, Mr. NFL Personnel Expert, let’s see your freaking credentials–or your retraction.

    You instant analysis types really frost me when you’re talking about a player you’ve probably never seen.

  77. niubears says: Apr 26, 2013 4:36 PM

    Never in my life did I think I would see an argument start over Detroit and Utah.. PFT never dissapoints

  78. Nick says: Apr 26, 2013 4:44 PM

    Stupid sunglasses ruined my #8.

  79. CKL says: Apr 26, 2013 4:53 PM

    I thought Reid’s beautiful little daughter or the pics of the players as kids were the cutest things last night, but Ansah’s mom is up there with those. Maybe it’s one of the few girly things about me but I love the excitement and reactions of the kids and their families on draft night.

  80. cmdv8 says: Apr 27, 2013 5:33 PM

    You teach me to football?

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