Posts tagged ‘Ed Ruth’

A Blue-White Weigh-in

Illustration via Corrine Furjanic

Weigh-offs before a mixed martial arts fight have a reputation for lots of posturing, stare-downs and the occasional scuffle. School spirit, not so much. But before his January 2012 fight against Rashad Evans, light heavyweight Phil Davis ’08 stepped on the scale wearing a Penn State singlet, the kind he would have worn as a four-time all-American and 2008 national champion for the Nittany Lions.

“It was a time where we needed a little morale,” said Davis during a promotional visit to Happy Valley ahead of the Bellator MMA promotion’s debut in the Bryce Jordan Center. Davis, along with three-time national champion Ed Ruth ’14, will be fighting Nov. 3 on a Spike-televised event from the same arena that would be packed to the rafters when they wrestled. As he prepares for a homecoming in the cage, the time seems right to bring the singlet back. “I might have to get a hold of one of those fatigue ones, man. That was sick,” says Davis, referring to the blue and white digi camo singlet that makes occasional appearances on the mat. “We’ll have to talk to somebody.”

The light heavyweight, known for donning pink shorts in the cage, said he appreciates the individualism afforded a fighter, mixing it with the team-first mentality of his college days. “Our values are that the basic blue and white, and uniformity is how we achieve together,” he said. “No names on the back. That’s who we are. Penn State, the wrestling singlet was unchanged for 100 years, and on our 100th-year anniversary we went from a blue singlet with white writing—get this, it’s going to get crazy—to a white singlet with blue writing. And that was living on the wild side. … I feel like I come to love and appreciate that mindset, and then take that forward with me into the world. But also, I think it’s fun to showcase my uniqueness and character a little bit. But not too much personality.”

There’s more on Davis and Ruth and their transition to the MMA cage in our Nov./Dec. 2017 issue, already arriving in mailboxes.

Bill Zimmerman, special to

October 26, 2017 at 2:33 pm Leave a comment

The Penn Stater Daily — March 24, 2014


The champs are here: So, how was your weekend? If you’re a Penn State sports fan, it was probably pretty great. The highlight came Saturday night in Oklahoma City, when the Nittany Lion wrestlers emerged from a tight team battle with Minnesota and Oklahoma State to clinch the program’s fourth straight NCAA championship. Ed Ruth (above) made history at 184 pounds, becoming Penn State’s first three-time NCAA champ, while fellow senior David Taylor was named the tournament’s Most Dominant Wrestler en route to his second 165-pound title. Seven Lions earned All-America status on the weekend—maybe none more impressively than sixth-year senior James English, who capped an injury-plagued career with a win in his final bout. And for some great post-tournament color, Tim Owen’s column at Blue-White Illustrated is worth a read.

Lucky 13: Speaking of national championship dynasties… On Sunday morning in Columbus, the Penn State fencing team out-dueled Princeton and the rest of the field to claim the program’s 13th combined NCAA title. Sophomore Kaito Streets not only has a very cool name, but he also claimed the national title in men’s saber, making him the 13th individual champ in school history.

Hoop on: The women’s basketball team opened NCAA tournament play Sunday with a 62-56 victory over Wichita State. The third-seeded Lady Lions will back back in the BJC Tuesday night, when they host Florida for a chance to go to the Sweet 16. Meanwhile, the Nittany Lions travel to Siena tonight for a quarterfinal CBI matchup. That game airs at 7 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.

Make a face: Well, this is cool. Researchers led by Penn State anthropologist Mark Shriver have figured out a way to create crude but recognizable 3D models of human faces using nothing more than DNA. It’s complicated and fascinating stuff.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

March 24, 2014 at 8:59 am Leave a comment

The Penn Stater Daily — March 12, 2014

Gift of life: Cheryl Green was a 19-year-old Penn State sophomore when her kidneys failed and she went into cardiac arrest. Two years later she received a transplant with the kidney of her mom, who was 51 at the time. Today, 37 years later, Green is still living with her mother’s kidney, as recounted in this feature from Lancaster Online. “I have an 88-year-old kidney in me,” Green says. “People said it wouldn’t last.”

Another day, another honor for John Urschel: Penn State’s offensive lineman/math genius is a semifinalist for the Sullivan Award, which the AAU awards annually to the nation’s top amateur athlete. Past award winners include everyone from Wilma Rudolph to Bruce Jenner to Tim Tebow. Fan voting counts in choosing the finalists, so click here to cast yours. Voting ends March 23.

Video of the day: Our friends at Onward State, who alerted us to this video, described it as “Dude Writes a Song About David Taylor.” And, yes, that’s true, but Mark Bader’s karaoke version of “Piano Man,” apparently titled “Magicman” in honor of the four-time Big Ten champ’s Twitter handle and nickname, is really so much more. It’s got shutouts to everything from Ed Ruth’s cradle to Cael Sanderson’s bald head, to everyone from Nico Megaludis to the team’s sports information director, Pat Donghia. Taylor gets the best lyric, though: “He’s slick and he’s sleek/And he wrestles complete/except for he never does throws.” Funny and accurate. You’ve really got to see this and hear this to believe it, so click here. Just don’t have the volume on your computer up too high.

Dottie Sandusky speaks: The Today show interviewed Dottie Sandusky, who says her husband did not sexually abuse young boys in their basement. She also showed interviewer Matt Lauer around the basement. If you want to watch, here the link to the seven-minute segment that aired Wednesday morning, and here’s the link to the full 50-minute interview posted later in the morning. The interview is receiving some criticism online, notably from Jennifer Storm ’02, executive director of Pennsylvania’s Victim/Witness Assistance Program and an abuse survivor herself. She tweeted, “It’s morally reprehensible that @todayshow takes its victims to crime scene where many young men were sexually abused by Sandusky” and “sexual assault victims deserve to be believed & once cases are concluded left alone to heal, not be revictimized by @todayshow.”

Lori Shontz, senior editor

March 12, 2014 at 1:15 pm Leave a comment

The Penn Stater Daily — March 10, 2014

Catching up with the BOT: The Board of Trustees’ latest meetings wrapped up Friday in Hershey, and as usual, Lori Shontz ’91, ’13g was on the scene. You can read her detailed coverage here and here.

Four the glory: David Taylor and Ed Ruth became Penn State’s first four-time Big Ten champions on Sunday, leading the Nittany Lions to their fourth straight Big Ten team title. Next stop: The NCAA championships, which start March 20 in Oklahoma City.

All downhill from here: You might have seen our post Friday on the U.S. Paralympic duo of visually impaired skier Staci Mannella and her guide, Kim Seevers ’86g. Turns out we’re not the only ones who realized Mannella and Seevers are a compelling story: The pair was featured Sunday in a New York Times story on these unusual partnerships on the slopes. Mannella and Seevers will go for gold this week in Sochi.

Talk to the Hand: New offensive line coach Herb Hand on Friday continued his utter dominance of the internet. He took a break from tweeting long enough to take part in an “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit. Among the highlights, Hand revealed his favorite State College pizza spot, how he’s handling all this snow, and what he throws on the grill when his linemen come over for dinner.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

March 10, 2014 at 8:45 am Leave a comment

A Fitting Rec Hall Finale for Taylor and Ruth

David Taylor/Ed Ruth

Much to his surprise, David Taylor began to cry. He was standing behind the bleachers at Rec Hall with his family Sunday afternoon, watching his teammate, fellow fifth-year senior Ed Ruth, walk out to be honored before their last wrestling match in Rec Hall, and suddenly it hit him. All the hours of work. All the Nittany Lions have accomplished in their four years on the mat. All the people who had supported and sacrificed for him.

Taylor has wrestled a lot of big matches, and he’s got two huge tournaments remaining in his college career—Big Tens and nationals. But he found himself getting keyed up for his final match as he walked onto the mat to be honored by the crowd. He still had tears in his eyes. Said Taylor, “I haven’t been that excited to wrestle in a long time, to be honest with you.”

By the time Taylor actually wrestled, about an hour later, he was so keyed up that he started before the whistle. The referee issued a caution, and Taylor waited a fraction of a second before he went back to work. He pinned Clarion 165-pounder Michael Pavasko in only 11 seconds, the second-fastest pin in Penn State history.

“Sometimes when you’re wrestling, you don’t even know what’s going on until the match is over,” Taylor said. “That 11-second flurry … before I knew it, the match was over.”

As he has for four years, Ruth matched Taylor—both in result and in excitement. Ruth needed a little longer to get his cradle locked up, and Clarion 184-pounder Dustin Conti managed to wriggle out of Ruth’s grasp just a little, but not enough. Ruth won by fall, too. By comparison, his match took forever—1 minute, 5 seconds.

It was a fitting Rec Hall finale for the duo. Each is already a three-time All-American. Ruth has two NCAA titles; Taylor, a three-time finalist, has one. Taylor has 49 career falls, second on Penn State’s all-time list. Ruth is a notch behind Taylor in third place all-time, with 45 falls. Neither ever lost a dual-meet match, either.

Even their coach, who knows a thing or two both about what it takes to excel and how to entertain wrestling fans, took the time afterward to marvel—just a bit—at their overlapping careers.

“I’m just like the people in the stands—I just enjoy watching them wrestle,” Cael Sanderson said. “There’s a lot of great wrestlers, but not a lot of great wrestlers as fun to watch as those two. Just like anybody else, I appreciate the way they compete. Both of them have been very consistent, using every second of the match to score points with very rare, few exceptions to that throughout their career.

“That’s what makes them great. That’s why people will be talking about these two forever.”

They’ll be talking about Sanderson, too, who has turned Penn State from a traditionally strong program into a powerhouse, winning the past three NCAA titles. He couldn’t have done it without Taylor, who had committed to Iowa State when Sanderson coached there but got a release to follow Sanderson to Penn State, or without Ruth, who had been recruited by former coach Troy Sunderland and who swears he didn’t even know who Sanderson was (“the guy whose name is on my shoes …”) but decided, of course, to stay.

One of the great parts of their final Rec Hall post-match media appearance was how each stayed in character.

Taylor, an earnest perfectionist who’s always made an effort to get the crowd into matches, got emotional again as he recounted his day and stressed how many people he need to thank. Ruth, a free spirit who weathered a suspension earlier this season for DUI, declined to expound on his emotions—“I can’t say it any better than he just did,” he said, looking toward Taylor—but later thanked the media for having “welcoming eyes.”

And Sanderson? He appreciated what had happened, but he wanted more. He thought Taylor’s pin took only five or six seconds; the call was a little late because the official had to get the right angle. He thought the four pins in a row—Taylor, 174-pounder Matt Brown, Ruth, and 197-pounder Morgan MacIntosh—was fine, but noted that the Nittany Lions need four pins in a row at Big Tens and NCAAs, too. And he pointed out that Taylor and Ruth still have room for improvement.

“They both need to continue to make progress if they’re going to win Olympic gold medals,” he said. “That never ends. And they both have that mentality.”

After what Penn State wrestling fans have seen for the past four years, who could doubt that?

(Photo gallery below by Tina Hay.)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Lori Shontz, senior editor

February 23, 2014 at 8:04 pm 1 comment

Penn State Wrestlers Dominate Ohio State


Senior Ed Ruth returned to the lineup after a one-month suspension (that’s Ruth in the photo above), but it was a redshirt freshman—Zain Retherford—who stole the show Sunday afternoon as Penn State’s wrestlers dominated Ohio State, 31-6, in Rec Hall.

Retherford, at 141 pounds, knocked off top-ranked and previously unbeaten Logan Stieber, a two-time NCAA champion. The two wrestlers were tied at the end of regulation, and Retherford got a takedown in the sudden-victory period to win the match, 4-2. He liked that, and so did the crowd:


The Lions lost only two bouts all afternoon. Among the bigger winners for Penn State were Nico Megaludis, who scored a technical fall in his 125-pound bout; David Taylor, who earned a technical fall at 165 pounds; and Matt Brown (174), Ed Ruth (184), and Jimmy Lawson (285), who all scored major decisions.

I’ve posted an album of photos from the dual on our Facebook page.

Tina Hay, editor

December 15, 2013 at 7:06 pm 1 comment

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