Ryan Ferguson is desperate to be on the cover of Men’s Health

He's using his "Freed Ryan Ferguson" Facebook page to ask for votes in the magazine's cover contest.

The latest on the Ryan Ferguson front comes from a Facebook update.

His “Freed Ryan Ferguson” page has linked to a Men’s Health contest to find the cover model for the November issue. Here’s the criteria, according to the contest’s webpage:

“This guy is physically fit, confident, stylish, career driven and a pillar of his community.”

Naturally, Ryan entered himself into the competition. He announced his entry on his Facebook page on June 10, saying that winning the contest could be one of his life’s dreams. That post how has more than 3,500 likes and 619 shares.

Ryan says he will use the platform of the contest to raise awareness and continue to educate people on the issue of wrongful conviction. We like definitely the idea of that and wish him the best of luck in those endeavors, but we have to admit — seeing his message paired alongside “best pec” tips might be a little strange.

But, you know, a national platform is never a bad thing.

Here’s some of the reasons why he thinks he should win, according to his entry page:

  • I love getting fit and healthy because it aids in my life goal to experience the most out of this journey by leaving nothing on the table!
  • I entered the prison system a skinny teenager who knew very little about health and fitness. I used much of my wrongful incarceration educating myself on physical health, so that I may survive. 
  • Growing my body also helped keep my mind sane during this very difficult period of life.
  • Living a third of my life unjustly locked away from friends and family inside of a tiny cage has made me redefine my take on “success.” To me, success comes from within.

Of course, he also mentioned his forthcoming book: “As a free man I will continue grow and overcome challenges as I did with my fitness book that Penguin will soon publish!”

Another FB update on June 14 said Ryan was ranked in 10th place in the contest. Not bad, Ryan, not bad.

If you’d like to vote for Ryan, go to his entry page here to do so.

Ryan sure has been posting a lot of photos of himself looking buff in Florida to the page lately.

Photo: Facebook, Freed Ryan Ferguson

Photo: Facebook, Freed Ryan Ferguson

There is also a video that focuses on him completing a tough Spartan Race.

And, of course, who can forget the shirtless Christmas video of his father, Bill, and him thanking his supporters that was published shortly after he was released from prison?

Talk Back: 

Will you be voting for Ryan to win the cover contest?

  • Rita Drago

    Voting every day. Ryan isn’t sitting around pouting about what happened to him. Instead he is and always has been doing what he can to better himself despite what happened to him, both mentally and physically. He hasn’t been out of prison for a long time and yet he has tried to help raise awareness to some of the problems in our legal system. To me his gaining a platform for his plight is just icing on the cake, his story alone earns him a chance at the cover. It’s about men’s health and he was able to maintain his health and body in a place where his decisions were made for him and he was just a number. Ultimately the judges will decide. Some of us just want to give him the opportunity to be heard (seen) by the judges. Ryan already won a long fight and he’s used to being judged so if he doesn’t win I’m sure he will survive and live to see another challenge. He’s come a long way in a very short time and your average, everyday person can gain a lot by hearing his story.

  • Richard Drew

    Not crazy on the headline for this piece – or the slightly snarky tone. Ryan isn’t ‘desperate’ for anything.

    • lori Hayden

      First off, Ryan Ferguson is not Desperate, He has every right to enter this contest. And there is nothing wrong for him to tell people about this contest on his page. After everything that he’s endured and come out of this past decade a strong young man who wants to make a difference in this world! Shame on you!

  • Linda McGee Hogan

    Ryan’s Freed Ryan Ferguson page was once a Free Ryan Ferguson page for his supporters that knew the injustice he had been served with a wrongful conviction that cost him 10 years of his young adult life. Some of us have followed and supported Ryan’s case for years. Naturally we want to see him succeed in anything he does but believe me it goes much deeper than that. He and his family advocate for other wrongfully convicted so any platform he chooses is something that we will faithfully support him in. It’s a shame that someone that has been through what Ryan has is being labeled as desperate. Desperate was sitting in prison for something he did not do. Living life to the fullest is what he is doing!

  • Stacy Maddox

    Incidentally, they ALL threw their own names in the ring. Unless you believe that another person wrote the answers to the questions for all of the other entrants in the first person. Ryan isn’t posting all of the photos himself. A lot are from his girlfriend, family, friends. Ryan has found his purpose in life, and after 10 years in prison, he is finally allowed to express himself and do whatever he feels necessary to promote his causes. Should he end up on the cover, which is not purely based on number of votes, and it brings more attention to wrongful convictions, then good for him.

    • Bill Ferguson

      Except for the Headline the story is quite good. Ryan is a great example of what can by accomplished once he became free. He has not just moved on but is supporting other accused of crimes that they had not committed. Ever few days we read of yet another person being freed due to Prosecutorial Misconduct. Ryan is one of the few that is speaking out. If he should win the cover of Men’s he will use that platform to increase awarness. More reporters might want to considering supporting the cause for justice. Once you get past the characterization of “desperiate” one will find a meaningful story and a good cause.


  • Stacy Maddox

    i thought journalists were supposed to remain neutral.

  • Chantelle Rogers Rodriguez

    Wow snarky ! Is this ” article in print somewhere ? I am out of toilet paper.

  • Jeana Bruce Bigham

    Apparently even MU journalism students are using controversial headlines and inflammatory content to get clicks and comments these days. I think we can do better than this.

  • Joshua Wilcox

    Ryan deserves to win and he deserves all the wonderful things coming his way. He has been through so much and yet he is still kind and determined. Strong, confident, determined to succeed against all of the odds placed in his path maybe but desperate never. Change your headline Vox Magazine it’s disgraceful. Thanks

  • Laura Heck

    Hi, everyone. Writer here. The VoxTalk blog is a place where we feel comfortable taking a point of view, and we’re thrilled to see so many people adding to the discussion on Ryan’s journey. Thanks for your thoughts.