Running a 4.63-second 40-yard dash last week at the 2013 combine at 6-foot-5, 271 pounds, BYU's Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah continued the positive momentum that he had made with a dominating performance at the Senior Bowl.
Ansah's performance was the more impressive considering he had never run the 40-yard dash before.
Citing Ansah's agent, Frank Bauer of Sun West Sports, Dan Pompei of the National Football Post writes that rather than prepare for the most famous athletic drill measured by scouts, the Ghana native continued to focus on his classes at BYU. The extraordinary athleticism that Ansah demonstrated is 100-percent natural and not of the manufactured variety that sometimes is the result of athletes prepping for a month or more for these specific events.
This wasn't the first time that Ansah had a timed race. He made the BYU track team as a walk-on, recording times of 10.91 seconds in the 100-meter dash and 21.89 seconds in the 200.
But experience running track doesn't necessarily make one effective in the 40-yard dash. The 40 doesn't just measure long-distance speed. The technique and explosiveness necessary to record a fast time is something that can take weeks to develop, which makes Ansah's 1.56-second 10-yard split all the more impressive. To put that into perspective, consider that TCU wide receiver Josh Boyce was unofficially credited with a 1.56-second 10-yard split himself and NFL.com credited him with a blistering 4.38-second 40-yard dash. Ansah, in fact, timed faster than 17 wide receivers in the 10-yard split.
While this speaks to Ansah's unbelievable athleticism, it also raises an important question.
If Ansah isn't willing to dedicate himself fully to the biggest test of his life, how important is football to him? Ansah has only played the game for three years and has only one season under his belt as a starter.
While he played with tremendous effort during his breakout 2012 campaign, some scouts question if he will play with the same intensity once he signs his contract.
Considering his upside and versatility, it might take a team inside the top 10 to find out.