Public proposal

Foothills festival has 'engaging' program for couple

Photo with no caption
By Sherri Gardner Howell
Publisher, Blount Today

Brandi Caylor never saw it coming -- at least not in this particular venue.

When WIVK’s Gunner called her boyfriend, former UT Vol Rob Smith to the entertainment stage at the Foothills Fall Festival
on Saturday night, Oct. 14, Brandi and the audience thought the two would entertain the crowd with a little football talk.

Brandi was busy snapping pictures of the Foothills Fall Festival entertainment venue for her mom, Terri Caylor, and the city of Maryville.

Rob asked that "his best friend, Brandi Caylor" join him on stage. Before Brandi could register what was about to happen, the normally reserved and quiet Rob was telling her -- and an audience of thousands -- how much he loved her and how important she was to his life.

Then, suddenly, he was on one knee, ring in hand.

Brandi, a vivacious, charming young girl, began tugging at the ring she was wearing on her finger. In her nervousness, she couldn’t get it to budge!

As she pulled and twisted to free her ring finger for the beautiful diamond Rob held in his hand, he laughed and asked, "Is that a ‘Yes?’ "

It was, and the crowd laughed and applauded as he put the ring on her finger. Family and friends -- some who knew what was planned but most who were as surprised as Brandi -- gathered backstage to celebrate the engagement.

Rob, who was an offensive lineman for the UT Vols through the 2004 season, was the only Vols offensive lineman to start every game. He was signed by the Cleveland Browns as a rookie free agent contract in May of this year.

Brandi, a Maryville High School graduate, is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and is the daughter of Jeff and Terri

© 2006 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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