It's been a long journey for Glenn Dorsey.
He's gone from winning a national championship at LSU, to being a first-round draft pick, to being a wily NFL veteran.
It’s been a long journey for Glenn Dorsey.
He’s gone from winning a national championship at LSU, to being a first-round draft pick, to being a wily NFL veteran.
But through all of his athletic accomplishments, he has not forgotten where he came from, nor has he forgotten the many faces he saw growing up in Ascension Parish.
When a powerful and deliberate storm drenched South Louisiana with over 20 inches of rain last month, the aftermath was catastrophic.
Rivers, bayous and canals ran over, causing flooding of historic proportions across the region. From Central, to Zachary, to Denham Springs, thousands of homes and businesses were submerged.
Dorsey’s home parish was not spared.
Ascension took the brunt of the flood with Sorrento and St. Amant receiving the majority of the devastation.
Dorsey was powerless. All he could do was helplessly watch from his new home in California as his old home washed away.
“I haven’t been able to make it down there to see it firsthand,” Dorsey said. “I’ve been at training camp getting ready for the season, but I’ve seen the damage in pictures, videos and on the news. It’s been tough to see what's going on down there.”
Many of Dorsey’s family members and old friends were affected by the flooding.
Though he couldn’t be there in person, he knew he had to do something to help out in the recovery.
“This is really important to me because this is my home,” Dorsey said. “I know so many people that still live in the community. A lot of my family members still live in the area, so this has really hit close to home for me.”
Last year, his Glenn Dorsey Foundation officially began a partnership with Volunteer Ascension.
The Glenn Dorsey Foundation was started by Dorsey with the principle that everyone—regardless of age or socioeconomic background—should be put in the position to succeed.
Last summer, the foundation, along with Volunteer Ascension had a school supply drive for students of the parish.
With the recent disaster, multiple Ascension schools were flooded. Dorsey thought it was imperative that he joined Volunteer Ascension once again to help.
“Seeing the community affected the way it has been, and seeing so many people losing their houses, it was really heartbreaking,” Dorsey said. “I just wanted to find a way to help, so I was able to reach out to Volunteer Ascension, and we came up with a game plan to help out in the recovery. We helped the kids out the best we could and helped provide them with school supplies and other things that they might have needed.”
It has been a long road from Gonzales to San Francisco for Dorsey.
He graduated from East Ascension back in 2004 as one of the top defensive prospects in the nation. It led to him signing with LSU.
There, Dorsey had one of the most decorated careers in school history—being named first-team All-American twice.
In 2007, he was named SEC Defensive Player of the Year, and he won the Lombardi Award, Outland, Nagurski and Lott Trophies as he led the Tigers to another national title.
He was drafted as the fifth overall pick by the Chiefs in the 2008 NFL Draft. He spent five years in Kansas City before joining the 49ers back in 2013.
Despite the decorated career and despite being so far away, he never forgets his roots. Ascension Parish is still a special place for him because of one simple reason.
“It’s the people. People in the parish are always there to help one another out when someone is in need,” Dorsey said. “It's really like a big family. They all care about one another, and whenever something like this happens, they come together. They combine resources and help each other out."
Dorsey will continue to help his home parish as much as he can as they continue to regroup and rebuild after the Great Flood of 2016.
In the meantime, he is looking forward to the upcoming season with the 49ers as they play their first season under head coach Chip Kelly.
“I’m really excited about the season,” Dorsey said. “We’ve been working hard. We’ve got some new faces here, some new coaches and we’re looking forward to getting after it."