Former Fresno State star McMaryion proposes to his high school girlfriend
Former Fresno State football star Marcus McMaryion had lots of practice making people think he’s doing one thing, then doing another.
For two seasons, the quarterback ran the Bulldogs’ run-pass option plays, helping Fresno State to two bowl wins and a Mountain West Conference championship.
McMaryion put his deception skills to use again last weekend, though far from the football field.
This time, it was his high school sweetheart who fell for the fake.
McMaryion pulled off an elaborate surprise marriage proposal to his girlfriend, Chelsy Lunsford, on Sunday while the couple was at Pebble Beach.
And like opposing defenses against McMaryion, Lunsford said she didn’t see it coming.
“The proposal has been in the works for the past couple of months,” McMaryion said. “But it’s been difficult to execute considering my transition from college to the NFL.”
Here is the play-by-play:
McMaryion’s and Lunsford’s birthdays are separated by only four days, so it has become routine for them to celebrate the occasions as one.
“He told me we were going to have a ‘fun’ birthday weekend but wouldn’t give me any more details,” Lunsford said. “I didn’t think anything of it because we always try to celebrate our birthdays with a bang.”
McMaryion first surprised his girlfriend with a helicopter tour above the Pebble Beach shoreline.
Lunsford noticed her boyfriend was acting a little different on the drive to the helicopter tour.
“He seemed nervous,” she said. “I assumed it was because he hadn’t eaten all morning and he was getting ‘hangry.’ ”
After the helicopter ride, McMaryion took Lunsford shopping and told her to find a dress to wear for a fancy dinner that night.
“Little did I know I was picking out the outfit he was going to proposed to me in!” Lunsford said.
Before checking in at the restaurant, McMaryion insisted they take a picture on the terrace. The photo wasn’t out of the ordinary, but Lunsford spotted rose petals on the lawn and asked McMaryion what was up.
Caught? Nope. He squirmed out of the tight spot with a clueless-sounding reply, “Maybe someone left them?”
“Again, I didn’t think anything of it,” Lunsford said.
Just before the photo snap, McMaryion’s intentions became clear as both of their families approached.
McMaryion escorted Lunsford a few steps to where the rose petals were spread.
He softly spoke about some of the happiest moments the couple shared the past seven years – from their time together in Dinuba to when McMaryion went away to play football at Oregon State before returning to the Valley to suit up for Fresno State.
Then, McMaryion got down on one knee and asked Lunsford to marry him.
“I was bawling my eyes out speechless,” Lunsford said. “But it was the easiest question I’ve ever answered!”
She said yes.
Their families rushed in to celebrate with them. It was as if McMaryion had thrown another touchdown and his team had won yet again.
“Everything was perfect!” Lunsford said. “The absolute best day.”