I’ve known about Osgood since he was a 2nd or 3rd grader. It seemed like my brother Justin, on odd years, for whatever reason get him in the quarters. And that’s a bad draw because Osgood always kept things close and interesting. Then in high school and college he became a stone cold stud. State champ, D1 National Qualifier, dude was legit.
I met Ryan one time in my life. I was at a friend’s after-hours party in Iowa City about 10 years ago and ran into him, Ryan Morningstar and Paul Bradley. Morningstar seemed like he was upset about something that night, so I left him alone, I know the feeling. Paul and I talked for hours. Osgood was there for a few hours as well. When I first got there, he would not get this big grin off his face. I kind of ignored it for a while… I started wondering if he were one of those poor individuals who were born with a “perma-smile.” Eventually I gave in and had to know what was so funny for the last half hour. And he said, “dude, you are in a way nothing like your brother, but there is something extra “Swaffordy” about you and I can’t stop laughing about it. That was the only time I’ve ever heard that one.
Who or what encouraged you to give wrestling a try?
My best friend in 2nd grade wrestled so I went out because he did. My parents didn’t know anything about wrestling, but were very supportive and look me anywhere I wanted to go.
Do you have any family who wrestled or wrestles currently? Parents, children, brothers, etc.? How did they do?
No-one else in my family really wrestled before me. I had a few cousins that also wrestled. My wife’s brothers were both amazing wrestlers. Dylan and Andrew Long. Both of my boys Anderson (4th grade) and Griffin (Kindergarten) are wrestling. I have really slow played it with my son Anderson. I have only let him wrestle about 20 matches in his 3rd and 4th grade years. He is a tough little guy though and battles out there. He is really fun to watch. I let my son Griffin wrestling in 1 tournament this year and he battled just like his brother. I want my boys to have that internal drive to wrestle like I did so I am not forcing anything on them and letting the love of the sport grow in them.
What were your youth results? Any rivals there?
8th, 7th, 7th, 2nd, 3rd for AAU State. Some of the notable guys I remember wrestling when I was in youth were Mack Reiter, Justin Swafford, Wade Saturn, CJ Ettleson, Kent Reams, Trent Gooddale
What was your record in HS?
How did you place at state every year?
Q, 6th, 1st, 3rd
What were some of the most notable adverse challenges or moments you experienced in wrestling and how did it turn out?
My freshman year I only weighed 90lbs and lost around 15-20 matches. It really fired me up to work harder and motivate me the rest of my career.
My Sophomore year I was ranked #1 going into district and I broke my hand the night before districts. I still wrestled, but was feeling sorry for myself the whole time. I placed 6th that year, but always regretted using the broken hand as an excuse. I have always thought if I would have put my mind in the right place I could have still won it that year. As Mark Rial said, I think in this sport the main challenge is sometimes within ourselves.
Throughout college it is a real challenge everyday to balance wrestling, school, and social life. If any of those 3 suffer you will effect the others. Doug Schwab told me that when I was in HS and I always took that with me in college and did my best to maintain that balance the best I could.
How would you describe your wrestling style?
I can scramble pretty well, but mostly I would say I am pretty basic with good defense.
How many guys in high school did you go back and forth with or exchange wins with?
Dominick Moyer and I had some great battles splitting a few.
Shawn Alexander was another I went back and forth with a few times.
Who was your most influential coach?
My HS coach Jim Cornick and Jose DeAnda at UNI. I still consider these coaches as well as my other coaches at UNI great friends to this day.
Was your team competitive in HS/college?
My HS team was not very good. At UNI we were always a top 20 team. I believe we finished as high an 11 at nationals while I was there.
Who was your most influential wrestler that you looked up to growing up?
Cael Sanderson as I went through HS
Who are your favorite current wrestlers?
1st has to be my boys. My son Anderson wrestles so hard and never stops. So much fun to watch. I love watching all the guys on team USA. I would say David Taylor, Kyle Dake, and Jordan Burroughs especially.
I still love watching the Panthers wrestle. Especially Taylor Lujan is a lot of fun to watch. I am also helping coach at Solon HS so I really enjoy watching my HS boys compete. Hayden Taylor is a real stud and excited to keep watching his career develop. �
What tunes would you listen to back in the wrestling days?
What was the most upset you ever felt after a loss?
Probably my last match in college. 1st because I was dominating the match and got pinned for only the 2nd time in my entire career and 2nd because I knew my wrestling career was over.
If you could go back and change one thing about your wrestling career, what would it be?
Probably to focus more on the metal aspects of the sport. Otherwise I really don’t have any regrets.
What was your best wrestling memory or accomplishment?
Wrestling at D1 NCAA National Tournament and winning State my junior year.
Who were some of your most notable competitors in high school? College?
Nate Gallick (ISU), Johnny Thompson (OSU), Dustin Schlatter (Minnesota)
Did you wrestle all year or was it seasonal for you?
I played a lot of sports so wrestling was pretty seasonal for me. I never wrestled any freestyle until college.
How would the guys from your day stack up against the guys today?
I think the sport has evolved a lot in the last 20 years. I think at least at the youth and HS levels kids are better now than when I was going through.
Did you wrestle after high school?
Yes. UNI Panthers from 2002-2007
What other sports did you play?
Baseball, Football, Track, even Tennis my senior year of HS.
Did you have good practice partners to help push you in the room?
HS I did not. College I had a lot of great workout partners. Chris Helgeson was always my favorite drilling partner at UNI.
What are your favorite sports teams?
Chicago Cubs, Oakland Raider, UNI Panthers
What are your hobbies other than wrestling?
Hunting, Fishing, Family
How has wrestling shaped you as a person to this day?
I credit the sport of wrestling for a lot in my life. The hard work, dedication, humility, and perseverance I learned from this sport has carried on into my life today. Most of my best friends to this day are my UNI teammates. I even married my wife Ashley who was one of my UNI teammates sisters. Thanks Dylan!! (2 of the best brother-in-laws a guy could ask for in Dylan and Andrew)
What do you do now?
I have been in Medical Sales since I graduated from UNI. I work for Medtronic Spinal & Biologics selling spinal implants.
Are you still involved with wrestling?
I help with Solon HS and youth program.
Any advice for upcoming wrestlers?
Don’t forgot to keep reminding yourself why you started wrestling, it’s such a fun sport. Also this sport is going to give you back what you put into it. If you just do the minimum that is what you will get in return. If you put in the time and all the EXTRA this sport will keep giving.
Any chance we see you wrestle again at an Old Timer’s tournament?
Probably not, but who knows
Would you like to give a shout out to anyone you wrestled with, against, coached, etc.?
Just my panther boys!!