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Bryan Osei Finishing up Abington Sports Career

The two-sport star will head to Temple in the Fall

 

Part of Bryan Osei's e-mail address refers to Sempi Fi, the U.S. Marines' motto that means "Always Faithful."

Another part references the story of Benaiah, a Biblical warrior who defeated a lion by chasing it into a den. Told to him one day in church, Osei uses the metaphor as inspiration for overcoming fears on the football field and wrestling circle, assuming the 220-pound, 18-year-old senior has any.

Really, his opponents should be afraid.

The two-sport star is wrapping up a stellar career at . After serving as a bruising defensive end in the autumn, he is again spending his winter as a wrestling heavyweight, looking to improve on last year's 39-6 record and a fifth-place finish in the Southeast Region championships.

"I always try to not second-guess myself and go as hard as I can," Osei said. "I'm always going to give my best effort."

Osei, who wants to pursue a psychology degree, will enter Temple University in the fall of 2012, becoming the third Osei brother to ascend to a collegiate program. Oldest brother William played offensive tackle at Division III Muhlenberg. David, three years older than Bryan, is the starting center at Rutgers as a redshirt sophomore. David also was a star heavyweight wrestler at Abington; he went 44-0 as a senior and advanced to the state final.

Abington head football coach Tim Sorber worked with each of the Osei brothers — and could get a fourth if youngest sibling Justin decides to play — and called Bryan the best all-around athlete of the trio, a high compliment for a kid who didn't play organized sports until seventh grade.

"He was the type of kid where an offensive coordinator had to know where he was on every single play," Abington head football coach Tim Sorber said. "He creates a lot of havoc. What makes him so dangerous is his ability to make plays in the backfield."

Osei's wrestling skills, his anticipation, use of leverage and his strong hands worked well together.

"All football players who don't play a winter sport should wrestle, because it helps a lot with reaction time and preparation," Osei said. "You're hand fighting, and you're often in a football stance on the mat."

Early in Bryan's high school career, Sorber and his coaching staff would refer to him as "William-David-Bryan," something Osei reluctantly got used to, and teachers often mixed him up with a random brother as well.

Bryan relied on David's advice when deciding on a college, but ultimately ruled out Rutgers because he had lived in that shadow long enough.

Recruited by Kent State, Old Dominion and Stony Brook, Osei originally chose Villanova, but switched to Temple in late September.

"I re-evaluated things," Osei told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "I like that Temple's football program is on the rise and on the verge of doing big things. Also, it turns out that the school has a higher educational ranking for psychology."

Osei said he hopes to play as a true freshman, but may redshirt for his first season while he gains weight. Beyond college, Osei would love a chance to play in the NFL, especially for his beloved Philadelphia Eagles.

"I would love to go to the NFL, even if I was just on a practice squad," he said. "I would be happy to get paid to play the sport that I love."

In the meantime, Osei will concede the family's wrestling title to former state runner-up David, but wants to become known as its best football player.

"I'd be happy just to get to states [in wrestling]," Bryan said. "I'll let David have the wrestling, but football is mine."

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