TAMPA - It was a Senior Night to remember for University of South Florida senior DE Ryne Giddins.
Prior to Saturday night’s home finale against the SMU Mustangs, as he was introduced with 16 other senior teammates, Giddins strolled to midfield and proposed to his girlfriend of six years, Cierra Harris.
“I had it planned for a while,’’ Giddins said. “I think she thought it was going to happen some time next year. She would always tell me, ‘You’ve got to tell me (when) so I can start looking good.’ I thought it was only right to do it now. I’m very happy.’’
After his introduction, Giddins was greeted at midfield by his father, Rhett; siblings, Giavanna and Rhett; Harris and his future mother-in-law, Trina White, who he already considered a second mother.
It was an emotional night for Giddins, whose mother, Sabrina, died on Sept. 16 after a lengthy battle with uterine cancer.
“When you see them (Giddins and Harris) together, it’s like they were in their first week of dating,’’ White said. “They have a really sweet bond. Ryne is like a big teddy bear. Of course, I’m going to be watching closely with anybody (who is interested) in my daughter, but I love Ryne. He’s such a sweet gentleman.’’
Other seniors honored by USF included FB Ryan Eppes, QB Bobby Eveld, DE Julius Forte, DL Anthony Hill, WR Derrick Hopkins, OL Steven Jacques, DB JaQuez Jenkins, DB Mark Joyce, MLB DeDe Lattimore, TE Lawrence Martin, DE Tevin Mims, DB Fidel Montgomery, DT Luke Sager, DB Brandon Salinas, RB Marcus Shaw and DL Demi Thompson.
The field was the site of another proposal Oct. 26, when former quarterback Matt Grothe dropped to one knee at the 30-yard line and proposed to Alyssa Ashley.
Like Harris, Ashley said yes.