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Thursday August 9, 2012 Kitchens popped the question and Nathalie said 'yes'

Updated: 6:03pm, August 9

Darrin Kitchens

Photo: Gators linebacker Darrin Kitchens got married over the summer to his high-school sweetheart.

Gators junior linebacker Darrin Kitchens is sporting the kind of bling that instantly caught his teammates' attention in fall camp.

He wears it on his left ring finger, so it didn't take his teammates long to figure out that Kitchens had a memorable summer.

"Everybody knows now,'' Kitchens said. "They are giving me a lot of congratulations."

Kitchens, who turns 21 in November, got married on June 23 in Gainesville to his longtime girlfriend Nathalie Jullot.

He proposed over spring break while the two were at a camp with their church friends at Spirit of Faith Christian Center. Kitchen felt the time was right after a night of worship.

It was 4 a.m. and all he could think about was asking Nathalie to marry him. So he did.

"I pulled her aside and I really didn't know what to say,'' Kitchens said. "How do you tell somebody that God told me to marry you? I was like, 'I've got something to tell you.'

"I looked in her eyes. I got down on one knee and I asked her to marry me. She popped wide-awake. She got all excited."

Kitchens met Nathalie when they were students at Homestead High. He was a freshman and she a senior. She soon went off to Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens while he became a football standout at Homestead playing for former Gator Bobby McCray.

A wide smile breaks out on Kitchens' face when he talks about how they met.

"It was the first day of classes and I was in the gym early for a PE class,'' he said. "We had a class together. I saw her walk in and I was just stuck on her. She looked at me and caught me staring at her and she thought I was some weird kid or something.

"I just played it off and we talked and became friends and one thing led to another."

Gators redshirt sophomore linebacker Gideon Ajagbe served as Kitchens' best man.

While Kitchens is working to secure a spot in the regular rotation at linebacker and on special teams -- he played in all 13 games and made 21 tackles last season -- Nathalie is working on her master's degree at Webster University.

He already has a unique distinction: Kitchens is the only player on the team married.

"It was nice,'' he said of the wedding. "The biggest day I've had."

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