WAGs of College Football Players
Matt Barkley & Brittany Langdon
[Editor’s Note: AdBlock must be disabled in order for the slideshow to function properly.]
We start with a USC couple that’s giving Lane and Layla Kiffin a run for their money in the popularity department. Trojans QB Matt Barkley and his girlfriend, Brittany Langdon, first met when they were in kindergarten. (Their parents didn’t allow them to date until they were 16.)
It wasn’t until this past Valentine’s Day, however, that we were all introduced to Langdon, courtesy of a tweet from Barkley. Langdon cheering on Barkley from the stands this fall will be tough, however. She’ll be completing her final season as a midfielder for Seattle Pacific University’s women’s soccer team.
Landry Jones & Whitney Hand
When Jones and Hand tied the knot it July, it wasn’t just any marriage. It was a marriage bringing together the Sooners’ two most perennially successful sports programs: football and women’s basketball.
Jones and Hand started dating in January 2009, having met during the 2008 fall semester when both of them were assigned rooms in Bud Wilkinson Hall. Both their careers in Norman have had their share of ups and downs, yet they have been there for one another throughout.
“I’ve never been like, ‘Oh, I want to date the quarterback.’ You know?” Hand told the Tulsa World in May 2011. “It just kind of happened … I guess we’ve kind of grown together and it’s been really fun.”
Montee Ball & Annmarie Jahnke
When you’re dating a football star, your friends and family will be asking about him a lot. That goes double for Jahnke, a Wisconsin senior majoring in Biological Anthropology. She grew up in Madison and went to Lafollette High — just on the other side of Lake Monona from the Badgers’ campus.
She’s not just a jersey chaser, either. She’s helped Ball stand up for himself. When would someone like Ball need help standing up for himself, you ask? When the college football world mispronounces his first name throughout his record-breaking season.
Improving his pro prospects doesn’t seem to be the only reason Ball returned for his senior season.
Dorial Green-Beckham & Lainie Bishop
As the No. 1 recruit in the country, Green-Beckham is already a household name before taking a snap as a Missouri wide receiver. The young woman hand-in-hand with Green-Beckham at his widely-covered college announcement is a pretty good athlete in her own right.
Before Green-Beckham’s decision, when it was revealed that Bishop was dating the star wide receiver and aspired to play college basketball, several recruiting publications tried linking her to a college in an attempt to ascertain which school Green-Beckham would choose.
“It was kind of crazy the stuff I heard about myself,” Bishop told the Branson Tri-Lakes News in February. “They said my transcripts were at Arkansas and other schools. But I never enrolled in any of those schools.”
She hopes to continue her hoops career at Missouri-Kansas City. The affection Bishop and Green-Beckham express for one another on their Twitter profiles suggest they can make the long-distance thing work.
Jake Heaps & Brooke Heaps
What’s that you say? Another Big 12 quarterback that’s married?
Jake Heaps, the BYU transfer and heir apparent to KU starter Dayne Crist, married his wife, Brooke, in the summer of 2011 while both were students at Brigham Young. Two years older than Heaps in school, Brooke’s graduation from BYU made the move to Lawrence easier on the couple.
Brooke’s father is Gary Shaw, who was a star defensive back for the Cougars in the 1970s. Hopefully she will help Jake prepare for Big 12 secondaries while he redshirts this fall and help him hit the ground running in 2013 as the Jayhawks’ Big Man on Campus.
Tajh Boyd & Taylor Stathes
Boyd, a 2012 Heisman Trophy candidate, found his steady when he looked to the sidelines and a pretty cheerleader caught his eye.
Stathes is a proud member of the Tigers’ all-girl competitive cheerleading squad, capable of a round-off back handstand. And Boyd isn’t the only one on campus who have noticed Stathes’ looks. She was finalist in both the 2011 and 2012 Miss Clemson Pageants.
And based on the ridiculous number of Facebook friends she has (over 2,800 and counting), Stathes has the personality to match.
Nick Florence & Rachel Florence
Nick Florence has the unenviable task of trying to replace a Heisman Trophy winner (Robert Griffin III) as Baylor’s starting QB. Thankfully, he’ll have the support of his loving wife Rachel. (For those of you keeping score at home, that’s at least four of the 10 starting Big 12 QBs that are married or engaged.)
The Florences tied the knot in May 2011. Rachel graduated from Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business (where she met Nick) in 2009 and has worked for the Social Security Administration’s Waco branch since March 2010. As proof that marriage is a process, Rachel lists on her Facebook page that she’s “learning to like football.”
Many of the photos Nick posts to his Twitter profile are of his wife, their home, their dogs and the meals they share together. Baylor fans expecting a repeat of last year hope that domestic bliss equates to gridiron success as well.
Seth Doege & Abi Brown
Next March 16, the Red Raiders’ Doege will walk down the aisle to marry Abi Brown. (Feel free to peruse their wedding registry here.)
Like Doege, Brown is a 2011 graduate of Tech’s Rawls College of Business. (Doege is now enrolled in grad school.) She is still in Lubbock, having taken a sales representative job with cleverly named “Texas Text” in July.
For those Red Raiders fans eagerly anticipating the nuptials of their starting QB, please enjoy this adorable video they made of the engagement photos he and Brown posed for.
Considering all the confusion of how to pronounce Doege’s last name (“Day-gee”), Brown might want to stick with her maiden name.
Derek Carr & Heather Carr
No, Derek Carr isn’t trying to copy everything about his older brother David. Even though both have played QB at Fresno State and both got married before their junior seasons.
“Trust me, we don’t plan these type of things for us to do the same stuff,” the younger Carr brother told Bryant-Jon Anteola of The Fresno Bee. “It just happened that way.”
Anteola says Derek and his wife, Heather, met when she was working as a waitress at a local BJ’s during Carr’s freshman year. Soon she was attending every one of his practices. Now they’re man and wife.
“She brings out the best in me,” Carr told Anteola. “That alone will help me on the football field.” The new Mrs. Carr expresses a similar sentiment on her Twitter profile.
Collin Klein & Shalin Spani
The Big 12 boasts two QB-basketball player power couples. There’s Oklahoma’s aforementioned Landry Jones and Whitney Hand. At K-State, it’s Collin Klein and former Lady Wildcat Shalin Spani, who were also wed in July.
Klein wasted little time in his courtship of Spani, who graduated in 2011 and is now the K-State women’s basketball team’s coordinator of office operations. The two were married after just a five-month engagement.
Klein’s new father-in-law, former linebacker Gary Spani, was the first consensus All-American in Kansas State history. If/when Klein and Spani have a son, they might as well strap a set of pads on him in the delivery room.
Jordan Kovacs & Kat Rasmussen
Like the star Michigan safety, Rasmussen grew up near Toledo, OH. Kovacs originally planned to walk on at the University of Toledo — where Rasmussen matriculated — in the fall of 2008, but a last-minute change in plans led him to Ann Arbor.
When recovery from a knee surgery forced Kovacs to redshirt his freshman year, Rasmussen supported him from afar along with Kovacs’ family. Four years later, the former Wolverines walk-on is a co-captain with QB Denard Robinson.
And Rasmussen will be there to cheer her beau on. She’s starting her first year at the prestigious University of Michigan Law School.
Tyrann Mathieu & Sydni Paige Russell
Rehab is much easier when you have an NBA dancer supporting you through the process. Such is the case with “The Honey Badger,” whose long-term girlfriend, Sydni Paige Russell, is a 2012–13 member of the New Orleans Hornets Honeybees.
Russell is in her sophomore year at LSU. And before you think Mathieu’s time away from the Tigers football program will adversely affect their relationship, remember that they’ve dealt with worse before.
Last December, several compromising pictures of Mathieu with women that weren’t Russell hit the internet. Ever the cool head (something that her boyfriend sometimes lacks on the field), Russell took to Twitter to express her humor over the photos, allegedly posted by some of Mathieu’s high school flames.
“I’m with this boy 24/7, I’m with him before class, in between classes, b4 practice, after practice, at night, he couldn’t even cheat if he WANTED to,” she tweeted in response.
David Scully & Sidni Vaughn
Vaughn used to be a cheerleader for Georgia. In fact, the first time she encountered Scully was during warm-ups for the 2010 UGA-GT game in Athens. She was ... less than accommodating.
“I didn’t exactly know him. So I’m like on the very end of our [cheer] lineup and I’m always besides the kicker and I’d give him a hard time,” she said in an interview with Sting Daily last November.
They reconnected through a mutual friends, Tech long snapper Tyler Morgan, and started dating shortly thereafter. Then in June, Vaughn made the decision to transfer to arch-rival Georgia Tech and cheer for the Yellow Jackets (ouch!).
Not because she’s “some lovesick girl that followed him to Tech.” She thinks she’ll have a better chance of getting experience as a physical therapist. Not that Vaughn is denying the relationship benefits.
“I think it’ll be a lot better because I can truly support him and be happy with what I’m doing,” she said.
Taylor Martinez & Lauren Cook
Martinez may sometimes look skittish on the field, but when it comes to his love life, he’s a brave one. It takes cojones to date the daughter of your school’s volleyball coach.
What Cook — a setter on the women’s volleyball team under her father, John — and Martinez have is a special bond. They visit terminally ill hospice care patients. They spin plates together (a.k.a “gigging,” apparently). Just as long as Martinez is always the one driving, Coach Cook is probably cool with the whole thing.
Between this and the rumors that Cornhuskers running back Rex Burkhead is involved with outside hitter Hannah Werth, there’s definitely some extracurricular activities between Nebraska’s football and women’s volleyball teams.
Star Lotulelei & Angelina Lotulelei
Utah’s star defensive tackle can’t get wrapped up on potentially going No. 1 overall in the 2013 NFL Draft. He has fatherhood to attend to.
The 22-year-old Lotulelei and his wife, Angelina — a former volleyball player whom he met while both of them were attending Snow (UT) College — have two daughters, Arilani (with Angelina in the photo to the left) and Pesatina.
“They are the reason I work so hard,” Lotulelei told Lya Wodraska of The Salt Lake Tribune in June. “It’s hard on them when we are out of town so much in the season, but I want to take care of them.”
Barring injury, Lotulelei’s first NFL paycheck should do the trick just fine.
Wes Lunt & Megan Eifert
He may be just a freshman, but Lunt is expected to keep the Cowboys offense humming at a high-scoring pace. But he’s not letting that, or his early enrollment in January, get to his head.
Case in point: Just days after being named Oklahoma State’s starter for the 2012 season, he was back in his hometown of Rochester (IL) to take his cheerleader girlfriend of three years, Eifert, to their senior prom. They were, unsurprisingly, named Mr. and Miss Rochester High. (They were also homecoming king and queen in the fall of 2011.)
Starting this fall, Eifert will cheer at Mizzou. Good thing the Tigers have moved to the SEC. For Eifert, cheering against her boyfriend in Big 12 play might have been too much to bear.