Local Editor proposes to LSU Cheerleader

DeRon Talley, Editor of The Donaldsonville Chief and Gonzales Weekly Citizen newspapers, kneels to ask LSU senior cheerleader Patience Phillips for her hand in marriage Saturday night in Tiger Stadium.

LSU’s loss to Alabama Saturday night brought many tears to Tiger Stadium. But for one cheerleader, her tears weren’t of sorrow but rather of joy. Before the kick off the SEC rivalry game, Ascension Editor DeRon Talley asked LSU senior cheerleader Patience Phillips for her hand in marriage, and - needless to say - she said yes.

The moment was captured on camera before the game as Talley, the Editor at the Gonzales Weekly Citizen and Donaldsonville Chief newspapers, approached his now-fiancé while she was surrounded by her fellow cheerleaders and in front of a packed LSU student fan section.

The video, which has been viewed by over 100,000 people on Facebook alone, shows Talley suddenly kneeling in front of Phillips to produce a ring as the cheers erupt from the Phillips’ teammates and the student fans.

"When he kneeled down, I was completely shocked," Phillips said after the game.

The couple had talked about getting married in the last year, but Phillips had made it clear that Talley would need to go the traditional route and ask her parents for permission. And when he did, she had no idea.

"I didn't know what to think. My mind went blank,” Phillips said, 21, from Monroe. “I looked around, I looked at my parents and I was thinking, 'I can not believe you guys said yes.'"

More than anything, Phillips said, she was shocked Talley was able to surprise her.

"We're so involved with each other," she said. "He did a surprise proposal and in my favorite place on Earth during my senior year, for the Alabama game, our rival school. It's a lifetime memory."

That kind of response was exactly what Talley was going for when he began to plan the night.

"I wanted to be in a place I knew was special to her,” Talley said, 24, from Folsom. “This is her third year and final year with LSU. I knew cheerleading is in her heart. It was her last football game, and football is her favorite sport. I wanted to combine all of that with a special moment from me, the person she loves. To make this last day everything and more she could ever think of - that's what it was for me. I wanted her to be completely happy on this one day."

The couple said from the very moment after, everything has been surreal. And Phillips said she was in shock so that she could barely concentrate on lifting Tiger fan spirits.

"After it happened and I tried to calm things down, I couldn't hit pyramids because I was shaking," Phillips said. "I couldn't even think about the game because I was in shock. It was so great."

Others, too, have shared their excitement with them. Since posting on Talley’s personal Facebook Sunday night, his video has garnered more than 100,000 views.

"It's unbelievable, but I'm glad it's something positive," Talley said. "When I was planning this, I wanted it to be something that shows the power of love exists. A lot of times with the way things are going in the community, (news) is negative, especially in the young black community. I want us to be role models, set an example and show people it could be done the right way."