Iowa Hawkeyes defensive lineman Logan Lee proposes to his girlfriend Tori Verbeck throughout a Citrus Bowl occasion at Common Studios Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021 in Orlando. (Picture courtesy of Brian Ray/hawkeyesports.com)
IOWA CITY — Two days earlier than the Citrus Bowl, Noah Shannon was sitting in his mattress in an Orlando lodge room, taking a look at his cellphone, when his roommate let him in on a secret.
“Hey, I’m going to do it immediately,” fellow Iowa defensive lineman Logan Lee informed Shannon.
“It” was proposing to his girlfriend of five-plus years throughout the group’s cease at Common Orlando Resort — one a part of the Hawkeyes’ pre-bowl festivities main as much as the Jan. 1 sport.
“It was very nerve-racking,” Lee mentioned. “Clearly I’ve by no means accomplished something like that earlier than.”
Most significantly, she mentioned sure.
“We have been speaking about getting married for some time,” Lee mentioned. “We had been prepared for it.”
By the point Lee bent one knee alongside the water at Common’s CityWalk part of its Orlando theme park, it wasn’t a lot of a secret anymore.
Her household knew. His household knew. A lot of his teammates knew.
“All people knew apart from her,” Lee mentioned, “so it’s fairly spectacular that we had been in a position to maintain that beneath wraps.”
As he popped the query, a lot of his teammates, together with defensive finish Joe Evans, lingered about 30 yards behind the soon-to-be-engaged couple.
“We had been making an attempt to cover so she wouldn’t see us and break the shock,” Evans mentioned.
Lee would’ve had extra individuals there, however Shannon couldn’t discover the couple and was on the Jurassic World VelociCoaster on the time of the proposal. Cornerback Riley Moss didn’t know the place it was occurring both.
The “jittery” Evans would possibly’ve been much more nervous about it than Lee was.
“Dude, I really feel like I’m about to suggest,” Evans informed the opposite teammates making an attempt to inconspicuously comply with Lee. “I’m all nervous for him.”
Lee had some assist. The group videographers captured the second. Forward of time, one of many trainers picked the perfect spot to pop the query.
“She was like, ‘Hey, I feel this may be a great spot,’” Lee mentioned. “She was simply there like a pair months in the past.”
Lee will get married July 3 with a vacation spot marriage ceremony reception a yr later. Moss already is angling for an invite.
“Apparently they’re going to have their marriage ceremony in just like the Caribbean or someplace loopy,” Moss mentioned. “So hopefully I get invited to that as a result of I positively wish to go.”
Iowa Hawkeyes linebacker Seth Benson (left), defensive lineman Logan Lee (heart), and linebacker Jack Campbell (proper) fly by the air on the Citrus Bowl Children Day on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021, at Enjoyable Spot in Orlando, Fla. Later that day, Lee proposed to his girlfriend. (Geoff Stellfox/The Gazette)
When Lee hasn’t been coaching for soccer or getting ready for the marriage, he additionally labored with Iowa’s Athletes in Motion chapter — a faith-based group of Hawkeye athletes — to take a service journey to Ecuador.
Lee and greater than a dozen different athletes distributed water filters, and their Christian message, to 86 households with out entry to wash water.
“Within the villages, they’d working water, however it was like muddy, muddy water,” Lee mentioned. “Most of the individuals simply drank straight from it.”
Others used bleach, a sock or boiling to wash the “darkish, darkish brown” water. Now they’ve filters that may final a decade and filter about 1,000 liters of water per day — roughly sufficient water to fill three bathtub tubs.
Different soccer gamers included Monte Pottebaum, Desmond Hutson and Kyler Fisher. Whereas Hutson transferred to Northern Iowa within the offseason, he nonetheless traveled along with his former teammates.
Together with the water wants, 33 or 34 individuals “accepted Christ into their life” throughout the journey, Lee mentioned.
Once they left Ecuador, there have been “a variety of tears shed that day.”
“It actually, actually touched me how a lot we impacted them,” Lee mentioned.
Between the journey and the proposal, these touching moments have appeared reasonably frequent for the sophomore defensive lineman.
“I had quite a bit occurring,” Lee mentioned. “Life’s nice.”
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