Spring 2021 Magazine

Father thanks God for 49ers draft pick Dre Greenlaw, who saved his daughter at college party

When the San Francisco 49ers drafted linebacker Dre Greenlaw on Saturday in the fifth round (148th overall), they knew they were getting one of the top linebackers from the best collegiate conference in the country. In four years at Arkansas, Greenlaw totaled 321 tackles (103 as a junior in 2017) and was named a team captain in 2018.

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What the Niners didn’t know — along with just about everyone else — is that Greenlaw is also a hero to a father whose daughter was drugged at a college party four years ago. Shortly after Greenlaw was drafted, Gerry Daly posted a series of tweets praising Greenlaw for protecting his daughter, Meghan Daly.

Greenlaw had mostly forgotten about the incident, but he confirmed it Monday on Twitter and spoke about it with media in the Bay Area on Thursday.

As tweeted by Daly, his daughter went to a college party as a freshman and knew very few people there. “Someone slipped something into her drink when she wasn’t paying attention,” he wrote. Greenlaw, also a freshman at the time, knew Meghan from high school and saw a guy “all over” her at the party. “When that guy tried to steer my daughter out the front door, [Greenlaw] stopped the guy and said ‘she’s not going anywhere,'” Daly wrote.

Daly said he didn’t share the story previously because he didn’t want to put Greenlaw in jeopardy. “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,” Daly wrote. “In some ways, he was risking everything. And he risked it for my daughter.”

Daly said the other guy backed down and no one saw him again. Greenlaw “had my daughter’s back, and for that I will always owe him. So, do me a favor. Root for Dre. He’s a good kid with a good heart,” Daly concluded.

“I felt like I kind of needed to step in, so I did that, and I’m thankful that it stopped when it did and I took action,” Greenlaw told the media Thursday. “You never know what could have happened. I pray to God nothing would have, but I was just doing it because that’s just what I felt like was right at the time.”

“Thank God someone was looking out for her,” Daly told NBC Sports Bay Area. “Thank God that there are good people in this world like Dre.”

Greenlaw’s good heart stems from a desire to serve God. He quotes Philippians 4:13 in his Twitter bio and is grateful for the adoptive family that raised him. He grew up as an orphan and spent six years in foster care before one of his Fayetteville High School assistant football coaches took him in. Brian Early and his family officially adopted Greenlaw last year.

“God has always been there for me,” Greenlaw tweeted last week.

Greenlaw gets his pro career underway Friday as San Francisco begins its rookie minicamp, which runs through Sunday.

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