DALLAS — Landry Jones rotated the ring on his finger.
It seemed like the ninth time in the last minute he adjusted the silver band that was bordered with, what looked like, black titanium that now rested on the fourth finger of his left hand.
“Whitney’s a great cook,” Jones said with a huge grin. “I was … pleasantly surprised.”
A little more than two weeks have passed since Oklahoma’s first couple sealed their vows and the Sooners’ quarterback became the new Mr. Whitney Hand.
He already has his favorite dish made by his new bride: pecan-crusted chicken.
“She made it for me for my birthday,” Jones said.
Although the updated roster lists Jones at 218 pounds, he said he still weighs the 225 he did last season. Now that he’s married, he’ll “probably gain a little bit.”
“She cooks all the time,” Jones said, “so I’ll be eating good all the time.”
As for the wedding day, it went “great” with “no glitches.” The OU football and basketball stars had a large 350-person wedding in Hand’s hometown of Fort Worth, Texas. Jones’ bride wore a dress that was “ivory looking. It had a lot of jewels on it and it had a longer train.” The bridesmaids wore gray and two notable groomsmen were former OU tight end James Hanna and current OU center Ben Habern.
Habern actually knew Hand before Jones did. They went to Liberty Christian together for their junior and senior year.
“It was a smaller school, so most people kind of hung out with each other,” Habern said. “It was weird because I would never think in high school Whitney would start dating this quarterback at OU and then get married to him.”
Habern said he didn’t play matchmaker, but the two met in the dorms and started hanging out and playing Ping-Pong in the lobby area.
“Before we knew it, they started dating,” Habern said. “They dated all through college and then all of a sudden Landry’s like, ‘I’m engaged now.’”
“It’s been awesome to see them mature and kind of walk through that stage of life together and how they’ve kind of worked through issues and all that kind of stuff, like any relationship. It’s been cool to see. They’re perfect for each other.”
They danced their first dance to Josh Racin’s “You’ve Got What I Need,” and took a quick honeymoon to Las Vegas.
Now, there’s two new debates: a dog and who is the better athlete.
“No, no dog,” Jones said sighing. “I want a dog, but I don’t know if she’s too much of a fan of a dog right now.”
As for the better athlete, Habern’s choice wasn’t in his quarterback’s favor.
“Oh, man,” Habern said “Do I have to answer that? … I don’t know. I might have to give it to Whit. She’s a pretty good athlete.”
Jones wasn’t convinced.
“I think we would have to have a competition,” Jones said, “like a daylong competition of all different games.”
So how would the Heisman hopeful fare in a game of basketball against his new wife?
“If we played horse, she’d definitely win,” Jones said. “But if we played one-on-one, I think I’d get her.”
As for what’s in store for Jones in post-wedding 2012, he’s working closely with his some of his new receivers.
“Right now, it’s about being on the same page,” Jones said, “about how you want the route to be run and what they’re comfortable with running.”
So far, to Jones, wide receiver Trey Metoyer “looks great” but he didn’t discount Sterling Shepard or Durron Neal.
As the pressure to game day mounts, Jones said he’s comfortable being who he is on the field, plus he realized he’s never experienced the pressure and nerves on game day like he did before the wedding.
He dropped his hands briefly as he thought back to his wedding day, then his right hand quickly found his left.
“I was about to pass out sitting waiting for that first look photo to come,” Jones said with a turn of his wedding band. “When I saw her, I thought, ‘She is the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.’”