NICOLE PELLETIERE via GOOD MORNING AMERICA – Hannah Delmonte is a born-and-raised Philadelphia Eagles fan.
“I grew up around it,” she said. “I’ve been an Eagles fan forever.”
The 16-year-old had been preparing for her junior prom when she decided she would ask Eagles’ linebacker Emmanuel Acho to be her date for the event.
“I figured I’d give it a shot,” Hannah said. “I’ve seen him on social media and I know he does a lot of charity work. He seemed like a really nice person, so if I was going to ask anyone, it’d be him. And my dad really likes him so that helped, too.”
The teen looked to social media to extend an invite to Acho, 24.
“I never thought it would work,” she said.
But to Hannah’s surprise, Acho answered within just one hour of receiving her message.
“She actually sent me a direct message on Instagram, asking, “If I get 2,000 retweets, will you go to prom with me?’” Acho said. “I raised the bar and I said, ‘If you get 10,000, you got a deal.'”
Acho didn’t think she was capable of beating his challenge, he told ABC News.
“She got roughly 15,000 retweets in three hours,” he said. “After that, I said, ‘Ok, I’m going to prom and how can I make this an extremely special event for her?'”
Acho visited Woodgrove High School in Purcellville, Virginia, last Friday to surprise the teen with his acceptance to prom.
The NFL player traveled from the University of Texas at Austin, where he said he attends graduate school in the off-season.
“I saw him and at first it didn’t register all the way,” Hannah said. “Then I realized it was him. I was shocked and overwhelmed.
“He didn’t know what to say at first because I was crying, but he actually did say, ‘Will you go to prom with me?'”
For the May 9 event, Acho said he will be working on the arrangements for him and Hannah.
“I am trying to figure out where to buy a corsage,” he said, laughing. “I’ve gotten offers from different car services but, yeah, I also play a little piano and sing. We’ll see if I have a special musical performance.”
On the big night Hannah said she’ll be wearing what else but an “Eagles green” dress.
“He’ll [Acho] will be wearing classic black with Eagles green accessories,” Hannah said. “The Eagles’ safety Malcolm Jenkins is hooking him up with an Eagles green bow tie because the color isn’t common.”
Since accepting Delmonte’s invitation, Acho said he has received “countless” prom requests from other teens.
But the football star is happy about his decision to accompany at least one.
“Saying it was humbling is so cliché,” Acho said. “It’s a very heartwarming feeling because I never realize the impact I have on other people until that moment. When I saw her [Hannah] cry, I truly realized that I play a big impact on people’s lives.”
Hannah said she’s excited to spend her first prom with friends and to share the experience with Acho.
“I know it won’t be a completely normal prom because I’ll be with him,” she said, “but I’m looking forward to it.”
COURTESY: ABC NEWS