Wedding Bells and Whistles

FAYETTEVILLE -- Nathan Emert had plenty to keep him busy this summer, aside from the usual routine of taking classes and lifting weights with his teammates.

The Arkansas backup quarterback had to find a tuxedo, arrange a honeymoon to the Bahamas and find a way to help pay for a wedding. He was marrying his high school sweetheart.

"I wanted to help my wife out as much as I could, so I tried to help out as much as I could," Emert said.

His wife, Shannon, happens to be the youngest daughter of Arkansas offensive coordinator David Lee, who is also Emert's position coach. Lee is now Emert's father-in-law, too.

Emert got married June 30 in front of 300 guests, including Arkansas coach Houston Nutt, former coach Ken Hatfield and teammates Casey Dick, Marcus Monk and Reggie Fish.

The sophomore is a married man, one of only three on Arkansas' football team. Coincidentally, one of his teammates walked down the aisle later this summer to marry a woman also named Shannan, except the spelling is different.

Arkansas punter and backup kicker Jeremy Davis had been dating his wife for eight years, since he was in junior high school.

He finally decided it was time to take the plunge and try his hand at simultaneously being a husband and a member of the Razorbacks football team. That makes his dual role as a kicker and punter look simple.

"That's one of the biggest decisions of your whole life," said Davis, who was married July 21 in Fort Smith. "I was proud to make it, and I'm happy."

Tight end Andrew Davie is the only other Arkansas player who is married, but he's an old 24 compared to Davis, 22, and Emert, 21.

For the two honeymooners, though, things couldn't be better. Well, except for a few minor compromises they've had to make as Arkansas football players.

Emert said he scheduled his wedding for late June, so it wouldn't conflict with the time when he needed to lift weights with his teammates. There was one other request he had.

"I asked if it was OK if we were to wear wedding bands (at practice)," Emert said. "And they asked what kind of metal it was."

Emert's wedding band is made of tungsten, an extremely hard metal. The quarterback was told he couldn't wear his ring because doctors would have a hard time getting it off if he ever hurt his finger in practice.

"If I ever hurt my finger, I'd probably lose my finger before I lost the ring," Emert said.

Davis doesn't wear his wedding band at practice, either. But unlike Emert, Davis isn't teased constantly by teammates for being a married man who must go home to his wife.

"The only thing I really got was congratulations," said Davis, who had former Arkansas punter Jacob Skinner and former deep snapper Brett Goode serve as ushers at his 500-guest wedding.

Davis said he let his wife handle the wedding arrangements. In fact, the same could be said for David Lee in the months leading up to his daughter's wedding to Emert.

Even though this was the third time one of his children was getting married, Lee allowed his wife, Lynne, to take the ball and run with it.

Apparently, the Arkansas offensive coordinator is better with X's and O's than wedding dresses and flower arrangements.

"My wife wouldn't trust me anymore with those wedding decisions than the man in the moon," Lee said.

The wedding went smoothly. But before walking his daughter down the aisle, Lee said he told Emert, "She's strong-willed now, I want you to know."

Of course, the offensive coordinator couldn't let the quarterback get married to his daughter that easily. He had to throw one more jab -- or two.

"During the rehearsal dinner, he acted like he was punching me," Emert said, laughing.

Arkansas' Married Men

Player Position Age Wife's name

Andrew Davie Tight end 24 Britnee

Jeremy Davis Kicker/punter 22 Shannan

Nathan Emert Quarterback 21 Shannon

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