ALLEN PARK — Bronco Mendenhall, Ziggy Ansah’s coach at Brigham Young, speaks glowingly of the defensive end who was drafted by the Detroit Lions with the No. 5 overall pick Thursday night.
“The potential is unlimited. He’s fast enough, he’s quick enough, he’s strong enough, he’s a hard enough worker, he retains information well enough,’’ Mendenhall said on a conference call Friday.
“He’s consistent enough on and off the field that there’s really no down side. He’s made the fastest ascent that I’ve ever heard of or seen or even believed was possible going from not having played the game to being a first-round pick. To me there’s zero reason he can’t do that from a first-round pick to whatever level they would like him to perform at in a similar time frame if not shorter,’’ the coach added.
Mendenhall repeatedly mentioned Ansah’s willing spirit to learn and his athleticism despite the fact that he just started playing football three years ago. He was unfamiliar with the game which he had first seen when he arrived from Ghana in 2008.
Ansah walked on at BYU in 2010 and was a starter in 2012.
“He’s very smart, he retains information very well, he can learn and apply things very quickly,’’ Mendenhall said.
The coach said when Ansah first started working out for him it was all different since Ansah’s background was in basketball and track. He was asking him to flip tires and do strength drills.
“As foreign as these things were that we were asking him to do he was willing,’’ Mendenhall said. “He wanted it, he was intrigued by it and he was willing.’’
Ansah is on his way to Detroit. He’ll meet with the media this afternoon and will be introduced to fans at Lions Fan Fest at Ford Field which runs from 5-8 p.m. Friday.