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OU's Landry Jones, Whitney Hand team up for life

Sooners' quarterback executed a complicated proposal to his fiancee, a shooting guard on the women's basketball team.
by Jenni Carlson Modified: July 5, 2011 at 7:24 pm •  Published: July 5, 2011

NORMAN — Landry Jones has executed elaborate game plans throughout his football career.

None was quite like the one he quarterbacked recently.

The Oklahoma quarterback proposed marriage to longtime girlfriend and Sooner shooting guard Whitney Hand last month. Much like those gridiron game plans, this one was elaborate. It needed several months of planning. It required the help of a team.

The outcome?

She said yes.

“He did great,” Hand said. “It was perfect.”

Score another victory for Jones.

In the couple's first interview together since their June 12 engagement, Jones and Hand talked Tuesday afternoon about the details of the proposal and the impact of their pending nuptials on their future as Sooners.

Jones and Hand have been talking about getting engaged for the better part of a year. It first came up last Christmas. Having dated for two years, they knew they wanted to get married one day.

They talked about it. They prayed about it. And eventually, he told her that he would propose after the spring semester.

But when?

“Every date,” Hand said, “I was getting a new dress because you never knew.”

Turns out, she was about the only one who didn't know.

Jones began planning the proposal right after the first of the year, calling both her family and his family to get their blessings. Then in late May, he invited all of them as well as numerous friends and teammates to an engagement party on June 12, the Sunday evening he planned to propose.

Hand had been working a youth basketball camp that week.

“And the whole entire camp knew apparently,” she said. “I had no idea.”

But she did notice that people were acting a bit weird. Her roommates, always quick with suggestions about outfits and accessories, were no help when she was trying to figure out what to wear that Sunday. She thought they didn't care.

Instead, they just didn't want to spill the beans.

Jones spent the entire weekend getting his house ready. He created a walkway through it. He decorated with candles. He strung lights in the backyard. He hung a letters on the fence that spelled out, “MARRY ME.”

Jones took Hand to dinner that night, and when they got back to his house, he told her that he had something for her in the backyard. He wanted her to go through the house, and he would meet her in the back.

When Hand got inside, she found Jones' two older sisters. Each of them read a letter that Jones had written to Hand, the first about their past, the second about their present.

Then when Hand got to the backyard, Jones read a third letter that he'd written, this one about their future.

“She was laughing and crying at the same time,” Jones said.

Tramel: Jones, Hand join a long list of sports romances

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by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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