Dre Greenlaw thankful for his off-field stories, but ready to make 49ers

Dre Greenlaw thankful for his off-field stories, but ready to make 49ers

Even though fifth-round draft pick Dre Greenlaw is ready for all of the stories to be about his football playing abilities, he knows that his background is what makes him who he is today. 

Shortly after Greenlaw was drafted as the 148th overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, a story started circulating about him on Twitter. A man named Gerry Daly claimed that as a freshman at the University of Arkansas, Greenlaw saved his daughter from what could have been an unfortunate fate. 

Daly told a story about how in 2015 Greenlaw thwarted an attempt by man at a fraternity party to lead his daughter out of the venue after Rohypnol was slipped into her drink. The story got a quite a bit of attention, but it took Greenlaw a few days to respond.

During his introductory availability with local Bay Area media, he explained why. 

“I had just gotten drafted so I wasn’t sure,” Greenlaw said. “I didn’t want to respond thank you and not quite remember it. The girl called me a couple of days after the tweet, so I was happy to respond to him.” 

Greenlaw went into great detail describing the evening at the Sigma Chi party, mentioning that he knew Meghan Daly from being classmates at Fayetteville High School where she was a cheerleader and he played on the football team.

Greenlaw spoke about remembering seeing Meghan at the party and recalled her saying she wasn’t feeling well. She suspected someone had slipped something in her drink but Greenlaw was a little reluctant to get involved. Razorbacks coach Bret Bielema had just spoken to the team about off-field behavior and Greenlaw didn’t want to risk anything. 

“We had just had a talk with coach B about parties and being a freshman,” Greenlaw said. “And I had kind of made a name for myself and I really didn’t want to get too involved with it because I didn’t want to put my name in a position to where I got myself in trouble.” 

Daly spoke to NBC Sports Bay Area about the desire to thank Greenlaw for several years while also not wanting him to get into trouble either. 

"He was an underage athlete, attending a party where there was alcohol, even though he was not drinking," Daly said. "He was a college football player in the SEC.”

Knowing Meghan from high school, Greenlaw noticed her behavior seemed altered. When she came up to him a second time saying she thought someone put something in her drink, he still hesitated. 

Greenlaw didn’t get want to get involved and jeopardize his chances with the football team but he still kept a watchful eye over Meghan. When he saw someone starting to get aggressive with her physically, he knew he no longer could idly stand by. 

“I felt like I needed to step in,” Greenlaw said. “I’m thankful it stopped when it did and I took action, because you never know what could have happened. I pray to God that nothing would have, but I felt like that was what was right at the time.” 

Greenlaw spent the next 20-30 minutes with Meghan searching the entire fraternity house for the friends that brought Meghan to the party. Finally he somehow got one of their phone numbers and made contact. The next morning Meghan called and thanked Greenlaw for what he did and explained how she had gone to the hospital to have her stomach pumped to remove the drug from her system.  

Greenlaw believes his protective nature just kicked in. He has younger sisters that he would obviously done the same for. What he did wasn’t for any publicity, he was helping a friend and it was just the right thing to do. 

This is not the first time that Greenlaw has garnered attention for his life off of the field. After committing to the University of Arkansas, the story of his challenging childhood received quite a bit of publicity. 

Greenlaw was moved around repeatedly in the foster care system for several years until one of his high school football coaches, Brian Early, opened up his home to the young linebacker. His path is very similar to the one player he models himself after the most -- former 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis. 

[RELATED: New 49ers LB finds inspiration from life of Patrick Willis]

This is the story that Greenlaw said that scouts and coaches asked him about during the draft process. 

“At first it really was frustrating,” Greenlaw said. “I went to a lot of interviews that were just about family stuff. First thing I got from scouts was 'Tell me about your family backgound’ and it’s like man, you don’t want me to tell you about my football?

“I mean it was frustrating, but I look back on it and it’s a story that not a lot of people can say they went through and that they made it out of.” 

While Greenlaw is looking forward to his rookie year with plans on making football headlines, he is still thankful for his notable background and to Daly for sharing the story. 

Jimmy Garoppolo 'really good' but not elite, analyst Chris Simms says

Jimmy Garoppolo 'really good' but not elite, analyst Chris Simms says

Is your quarterback elite? Well, if you're a fan of the 49ers then no -- at least according to Chris Simms.

The NBC Sports football analyst couldn't confidently put Jimmy Garoppolo in the elite category, but still had plenty of praise toward him, especially knowing he plans on leading the 49ers to the Super Bowl.

"I think there's some quarterbacks in football right now: Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, DeShaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes -- they kind of stand alone," Simms said.

After that handful of quarterbacks, Simms highlights a group of "good," a squad that he considers Jimmy G to be a part of. Plus, Garoppolo has a lot of "good" surrounding him.

The elite talents of tight end George Kittle are something that shouldn't be argued -- unless you're not sure if he's a decent blocker or not. Ahem, Doug Gottlieb.

"That's all you need to win a Super Bowl," Simms added.

The consensus around Jimmy G's eliteness is that he's not elite, but he's not bad, but he's good enough.

[RELATED: NFC offensive consultant on Jimmy G's eliteness

Got all of that?

His throwing abilities have been talked about, but once again the word "elite" was not mentioned.

49ers tackle Joe Staley doesn't have looming retirement on his mind


49ers tackle Joe Staley doesn't have looming retirement on his mind

A lot of times for athletes, it's not up to them whether or not they want to retire -- it's up to their body. For 49ers tackle Joe Staley, it's really no different.

"I like to think that I can continue to play football for as long as they'll have me," Staley said in an interview with 95.7 The Game on Thursday. "And that's my mindset. I've never thought about when an end is going to be."

The 35-year-old signed a two-year contract extension with San Francisco in June which ultimately means he could spend the entirety of his NFL career as a member of the 49ers. And while that seems like a long time, he's still soaking up the everyday grind of his job even with the setbacks he's faced this season.

"The challenges of this season have been different than seasons past," he said. "I love the adverse situations and you kind of learn a lot about yourself -- how you respond and challenge yourself daily with different goals ... "

Staley sustained a fractured left fibula earlier in the season during the Week 2 matchup against the Bengals and with a smile tried to remain positive but admitted: "it sucks." He was emotional after the injury but said that had a lot to do with how special the team was and the guys he was surrounded by.

Still, you can't fake the passion the six-time Pro Bowler brings to the 49ers and it appears you would have to pry the game away from his hands if you anticipate him hanging up his cleats any time soon.

[RELATED: How Jimmy G can enter record books in 49ers-Falcons]

"That love for the game is still there, burning," Staley said.

He finished the statement saying he doesn't have an honest answer as to just how much football is left in his body, but it's not something he's concentrating on at the moment.