For the longest, Arkansas has been looking for a hard-hitting, ball-hawking safety to bring back the memories of all the Razorback standouts that have gone on to the NFL.
Could the next one be just down the road at Fayetteville High?
That would be Purple Bulldog safety Dre Greenlaw (6-1, 220), who was one of 13 prospects in the 2015 class that took unofficial visits to Arkansas last Saturday.
"I think Arkansas has been struggling at the position for awhile and I think that is something that I am pretty good at," Greenlaw said. "I love to hit and I was able to use my athletic ability and my instincts to make a lot of big plays on defense and special teams. I had a great year creating turnovers and getting in the end zone and I think that got me a lot of attention."
Greenlaw had 108 tackles and 4 interceptions this season – one in which he took back for a score.
He also took back a kickoff, a punt and a fumble recovery for touchdowns.
"I feel like I can really sense when the quarterback is looking before the snap and then I have a great ablility to just break on the ball and make the play," Greenlaw said.
He is hoping that an offer is forthcoming from Arkansas and says he had a great time on his visit.
"I have seen the faciltiies, but it was great to get a chance to be around all the coaches again and I really, really like the new defensive coordinator (Robb Smith)," Greenlaw said. "I think they are going to be much better on defense.
"I am hoping I get an offer from Arkansas," Greenlaw said. "The coaches said they want to see in camp this summer and I am going to be there."
Greenlaw is currently committed to Arkansas State and has offers from Memphis, Southern Miss and Washington State.
Arkansas State is where his foster dad Brian Early is an assistant coach and also has interest from Arkansas, Ole Miss, Louisville, Boise State, Auburn and Alabama among others.
"When I was in junior high, he found out about my situation and just wanted to help," Greenlaw said. "He had never seen me play, didn't know anything about me. Was just trying to be a kind person. He asked me a lot of questions and just started showing up and checking on me all the time. He kind of took me in and its been great. He's been a great dad. It's all seem to work out."
Early was an assistant at Fayetteville High and then a quality control coach at Arkansas last year before being offered a full-time assistant's position at Arkansas State this winter.
"It was a great thing for him and his career and I am very happy for him," Greenlaw said. "He has done so much for me and he is my dad and means so much to me."
While committed to Arkansas State, Greenlaw makes it clear that he is going to take a long look at his other options.
"It would be great to play for my dad again like I did at Fayetteville, but if Arkansas or Ole Miss or some others offer, then I have to just look everything over and make the best decision for myself," Greenlaw said. "It really would be special to have a chance to play for the Razorbacks."
Early considered moving to Jonesboro, but has decided to stay in Fayetteville for his senior season.
"I thought about going with him and playing at Jonesboro, but after thinking about it I realized that my options would be best if I played at Fayetteville next season," Greenlaw said. "I am excited about what we have coming back and think we have a chance to win it all again like we did when I was a sophomore."
Greenlaw will also be seeing time at running back and wideout on offense this season for the Purple Bulldogs.
"That was actually my best spot in junior high – running back," Greenlaw said. "I think that is my natural position. I am looking forward to playing all three positions and just doing whatever I can to help my team win."
Big Play Dre
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