Report: Teams wonder about Ansah’s age


As if BYU defensive end Ziggy Ansah didn’t already face enough questions regarding whether his production will match his potential at the next level, he now faces questions regarding whether his birthday matches his birth certificate.

Per ESPN’s Chris Mortensen (via, some teams believe Ansah looked “old in the face” at his Pro Day workout.  (Greg Oden doesn’t know what that means.)

Mort reports that Ansah has sent his passport to a “select group of teams,” which shows that he’s 24.

Ansah is regarded as a raw prospect with a high upside.  He unsuccessfully tried multiple other sports before finding football (Danny Zuko doesn’t know what that means), and Ansah now is regarded as one of the top prospects in the draft.

Unless someone thinks his passport has been forged (which is highly unlikely), it’s safe to say he won’t be going from old in the face to long in the face next Thursday night.

53 responses to “Report: Teams wonder about Ansah’s age

  1. Who cares if he is 24 or 25. He has basically no wear and tear on his body since he started playing football recently.

  2. Ziggy is a project with raw talent,and by the looks of that picture he won’t have time to develop.

  3. As long as his passport says 24, you have to believe that. Newsflash: people “look” different ages. Some look baby-faced at 28, and others look middle-aged at 30.

  4. The rumor reportedly was that Ziggy is 28. This is a big issue for baseball players from various regions south of the border.

    Lucky the old in the face rule didn’t have to get applied to Akron, Ohio born Lebron James.

  5. Documents, even ones as important as birth certificates and passports and very easily forged in Africa. This is a problem in European football where there are stories of African players giving teams documents with as much as 10 years knocked off their actual age.

    Not saying he is, but Ansah could be 34 for all we know.

  6. This is actually a common problem for African Athletes. Most famously in Soccer, The Nigerian u20 team won the soccer world cup(underage level) which prompted many pundits and soccer stars including Pele to say that Nigeria will win a world cup within the next decade bench marking The world cup last summer in South Africa as their chance. Turns out half the team where in their late 20’s…. Anyway best of luck to Ansah hopefully he pans out alright! just don’t be surprised if he is collecting a pension in the next 3-5 years!

  7. There is a story in the soccer section about how 3 different countries youth teams in Africa have kids that lied about their age and there passports were real. Just because a passport is real and has an age stated on it, doesn’t mean it’s definitely the truth.

    I know a bunch of people from West Africa that say a lot of people change their age on their birth certificates for various reasons, one guy made his age 2 years older so that he could legally drive earlier. The guy got a driver’s license that was 100% legal, with a fake age on it. And plenty of people do the same thing with passports.

    The kids playing soccer were found out because of a new technique for finding someone’s age by doing an MRI on the wrist. Unless they do this test on Ansah they won’t really know his real age.

    At least this guy isn’t already going bald like Amobi Okoye was.

  8. No one ever accuses Dominican baseball players of being “old in the face.” Are they skeptical of his age because of his facial features or because he is from Ghana? I’m white and I hope the birth certificate back in Ghana confirms his age is true.

  9. He has no wear and tear on his body, regardless what age he is. He’s going to be a great player and will be able to start from day 1.

  10. For the people that say age shouldn’t matter since he doesn’t have wear and tear…age matters, no matter what. Age doesn’t slow down for anybody. If he’s 25..he’ll be happy to play 8-9 years…but the team that drafts him would be thinking they’d get someone that will play 13 years.

  11. One pro day comment about how much he enjoyed watching Alf as a kid and this is where we end up.

  12. From what I am reading is that he was baptized at the age of 18.

    And BYU awarded him with a academic scholarship in 2008

    But on other terms. He would have been playing for BYU football program for 10 years.

    Because alot of people think he is 28 years old know

    Which if that was true. He would have been born in 1985 – 1986.

    Also if things dont turn out to the way it sounds…He started playing for BYU at the age of 24. If he is 28 years old.

    Also he goes by the name Ezekiel Ansah.

  13. I am a Ghanaian and yes age forgery is common place amongst soccer players on the continent, though within the last decade that has been streamlined, take it for what its worth. Now, do i believe that Ansah may be a little bit older, its possible, but i reject the logic and reasoning that he looks old in the face what is that supposed to mean. I once saw a fellow freshmen in college some years back dude looked like he must have been 40 , but yet he was only 18.

  14. people immigrating to the states routinely have forged birth certificates that show their children as being younger than they really are (and the adults as being older). This allows for the kids to legally stay in the school system, and the adults to retire earlier.

  15. For all the energy the NFL devotes to becoming a dominant entertainment corporation, small-minded “issues” like this show how much house cleaning remains in that league.

    You have NFL affiliated numbskulls spouting off about Ansah’s age like a bunch of old hens in a gossip circle and you have numbskull stenographers posting about it and talking about it on TV. One of those has to stop.


    Because it leads to internet commenters telling us what they think they know about birth certificate processes in African countries. That definitely needs to stop. These people can barely tell us anything useful about their favorite teams.

  16. This guy and Greg oden look like they are straight off of the set of Sanford & Son.

  17. The one thing all the sleuths are forgetting to ask is why would Ziggy Ansah lie about his age??? He isn’t like the soccer players at all. He came to the US hoping to play college basketball and get an education. At the time he had no idea he had the potential to be a professional football player (or athlete of any kind). BYU doesn’t care at all about age. They routinely have return missionaries who are 22 year old redshirt freshman athletes. Obviously BYU has a passport/birth certificate on record when they accepted him. So what would it have served him to lie about it at that time cause there is no way he could get away with making it up recently? Anyone?

  18. The Eagles took Danny Watkins who was a baby-faced 27 year old. A few years later and he’s still developing while planning his retirement and still looks like a kid so you never know.

  19. you need to show your pass port, birth certificate, etc… to play in the NFL but not to be president .. yep makes a lot of sense to me

  20. Ya in that picture he looks like he is 35ish. But no problem we know any passports or birth certificates from Africa are all on the up and up, hey Obama baby.

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