New Argo QB’s very awk­ward first date

James Franklin on find­ing love and keep­ing God in the cen­tre of his mar­riage

Richmond Hill Post - - CURRENTS -

With the re­tire­ment of Ricky Ray, James Franklin will be step­ping in as the Ar­gos new start­ing quar­ter­back when they kick off the sea­son on June 22. We caught up with Franklin to learn a lit­tle more about his life off the field with his wife Kaylee.

How they met

Tech­ni­cally we met on In­sta­gram, but ended up meet­ing in per­son at my best friend’s high school grad­u­a­tion. I had just got­ten to Cal­i­for­nia to train with a quar­ter­back coach, and I was go­ing to take a pic­ture and post it on In­sta­gram.

I opened the app and her pic­ture was there, and she wrote that she just got to Cal­i­for­nia. It took me about two hours to com­ment but I fi­nally did. Then I tried to find her on Twit­ter. I went through about 200 Kaylee Thomp­sons and fi­nally found her and sent her a pri­vate mes­sage. Af­ter mes­sag­ing, we found out we had a mu­tual friend and met up at his grad­u­a­tion.

The first date

Our first date was in Nor­man, Ok­la­homa in 2013. I was sup­posed to show up at 9 a.m. but showed up at 7 a.m. I was ex­cited. So I got to her par­ents’ house and talked to them for about two hours while Kaylee got ready, and then we left to go to a three-on­three bas­ket­ball tour­na­ment I was play­ing in.

The en­tire hour drive there and back, I talked about my first girl­friend. I was just so ner­vous and ex­cited, but that was all I could talk about. I can’t be­lieve I did that now.

Then we went out for din­ner where I stood my menu up on the ta­ble so it was block­ing her line of sight. Af­ter we or­dered, the wait­ress tried to take it, but I told her I wanted to keep it. Ev­ery now and then I’d pull the menu down and tell Kaylee I thought she looked nice. In my head I was do­ing great, but in re­al­ity it was ter­ri­ble. There was even an older cou­ple there who gave Kaylee a look like “What in the world is he do­ing?”

Then we went to the movies, fol­lowed by dessert and then to the park to talk. At this point I had calmed down a lot and started act­ing “nor­mal.”

At the end of the night, I walked her to the door think­ing “This is when they al­ways kiss in the movies.” But I didn’t want her to think I was go­ing to. So af­ter about 20 min­utes of mostly si­lence, I asked if I could give her a hug. She said yes, and it was about a minute long.

After­wards I was speech­less and couldn’t say any words and she said, “Have a safe trip home James.”

The pro­posal

I pro­posed at the res­tau­rant she used to work at, and the owner recorded it. Kaylee thought she was just talk­ing about her ex­pe­ri­ence at the res­tau­rant in the video. My par­ents were there and her par­ents were there. I asked them how they met and to tell their story. Then it got to me and I told our story, and at the end, I said: “I was speech­less and didn’t know what to say, but now I do.” Then I just con­fessed how I felt and asked her to marry me.

The wed­ding

We got mar­ried on July 5, 2014 in Texas. It was ex­actly one year and one day af­ter we met. We then went on an eight-day hon­ey­moon in Puerto Val­larta, Mex­ico.

The kids

We have one daugh­ter who is 15 months old, and her name is Ade­lynn Rae Franklin. We have an­other girl on the way named Brin­lee due in Au­gust.

Se­cret of suc­cess

I don’t think it’s a se­cret, but we make sure to com­mu­ni­cate as best we can. The bet­ter we com­mu­ni­cate, the more we know about each other and can give each other what we need. We are both peo­ple of faith, and keep­ing God in the cen­tre of our mar­riage is al­ways when we are the strong­est.

Life af­ter re­tire­ment

Once I re­tire, I see us hav­ing three kids to raise in Ok­la­homa, me do­ing some small coach­ing, own­ing a cou­ple of rental prop­er­ties, do­ing a lot of evan­ge­lism and mo­ti­va­tional speak­ing, be­ing a faith­ful fam­ily and hope­fully be­ing very happy!

“In my head I was do­ing great, but in re­al­ity it was ter­ri­ble.”

James Franklin, his wife Kaylee and their daugh­ter Ade­lynn Rae

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