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OSU football: Linebacker Ryan Simmons can't get enough of winning

Father, brothers, sister were all competitors. “That's how we were all brought up,” Simmons said. “ ... we all wanted to win.”
by John Helsley Published: August 19, 2013

Growing up, Ryan Simmons played rough with his sister Meighan.

And she with him.

And it was all good.

“My daddy, he pushed that upon us,” Ryan said of his father Wayne. “My dad is the ultimate competitor. He's always trying to win. That's how we were all brought up.

“We all played basketball and we had a hoop out front. If we were playing football in the backyard or whatever we were doing — who could do the best back flip, whatever — it was always a competition. And we all wanted to win.”

Winning remains a major motive, with Ryan moving into a starting spot on the Oklahoma State defense, filling the outside linebacker void where Alex Elkins used to operate. In a reserve role a year ago, he led all OSU freshmen with 23 tackles.

Meighan's still at it, too, as a double-digit scorer on the Tennessee women's basketball team and the No. 1 high school girls scorer in the history of the Greater San Antonio area.

Seems like maybe father knew best, with Ryan and Meighan, two older brothers and dad all fueling their competitive juices at home first back in Cibolo, Texas, near San Antonio.

“My older brothers, they set the prime example,” Ryan said. “They pushed me a lot and I always wanted to be like my brothers. My oldest sisters were more girls. But Meighan, she did the basketball and the rougher stuff.

“Meighan, she was pretty involved and she'd be playing with us just as we played as brothers. There were hard fouls, stuff like that. She was rough.”

Through it all, there were no hard feelings, at least none that lasted long.

And the competition was left on the court or the field.

“My brother is one of the most God-filled people,” Meighan told The Oklahoman last spring, when the Lady Vols were in Oklahoma City during the NCAA Tournament. “He's about to be 20, but in my eyes he's a very strong man. He's not a boy anymore.

“He knows what he wants in his life. He works twice as hard. He's one of the most amazing men I know in my life besides my dad and my other brothers. He does everything that he can to be the best teammate as possible.”

Simmons said he's just trying to fit in among a Cowboys linebacking corps that features seniors in Caleb Lavey and Shaun Lewis. Expected to add an athletic and energized aspect to the defense, at 6-foot and 242 pounds, he brings a history of massive production dating back to his high school days at prep powerhouse Cibolo Steele.

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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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