On Saturday, Dre Greenlaw was selected in the fifth round by the San Francisco 49ers as the 148th overall pick of the NFL draft.
That same day, a father named Gerry Dales told a story on Twitter about the linebacker, thanking Greenlaw publicly for his help in protecting his daughter in 2015, when Greenlaw was a starter as a freshman at the University of Arkansas.
“My daughter went to a college party when she was freshman,” Dales wrote in the thread. “She knew very few people at the party, and also didn’t have a ton of experience drinking. Someone slipped something into her drink when she wasn’t paying attention.”
Dales said Greenlaw, who is from Fayetteville, knew her from high school but that Greenlaw didn’t know the guy, “who was all over her.”
“And when that guy tried to steer my daughter out the front door, he stopped the guy and said, ‘She’s not going anywhere,’” Dales wrote.
“He was a starter on the Razorbacks,” Dales said of Greenlaw. “His place was not secure. He was underage and at a kegger. He wasn’t drinking, but if there was a fight he was risking getting thrown off the team. In some ways, he was risking everything.
“And he risked it for my daughter. The guy backed down, and no one saw him again. No one at the party seemed to know who he was, and my daughter and her friends never saw him again.”
Dales said he previously never told this story because he was worried someone might say Greenlaw shouldn’t have been at that party.
“So, do me a favor,” Dales said. “Root for Dre. He’s a good kid with a good heart.”
On Thursday in a session with reporters at 49ers rookie mini-camp, Greenlaw, now 21 years old, acknowledged the story.
“When she said she needed help and then I saw how the dude was kind of grabbing at her, trying to get on her a little bit, I felt like I need to kind of step in,” Greenlaw said.
According to ESPN, Greenlaw said the woman went to a hospital to get her stomach pumped to remove the Rohypnol, commonly known as “roofie,” from her system and that she called him the day after the incident to thank him. Recently, she called him again after her father’s tweets went viral to thank him and congratulate him on being drafted.
“I was just looking out for a friend,” Greenlaw said.
According to CNN affiliate KARK, Greenlaw moved from one foster home to another while growing up. It was through football where he found family. Brian Early, who then was an assistant football coach at Fayetteville High School, and his wife Nanci took Greenlaw in. He was adopted by the family last year, according to ESPN.