Shaquem Griffin: “I have the entire nation behind me now”

AP

Shaquem Griffin is used to being doubted. Playing football with one hand creates skeptics.

But the Central Florida linebacker, who has now been invited to the 2018 NFL Draft, said that the support he’s felt during his career has helped buoy him.

“I was a guy who was under the radar and who they didn’t believe in at first, but I feel like they’re starting to believe now,” Griffin said after his  pro day workout, via Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel. “I have the entire nation behind me now.”

Griffin is more than just an inspirational story, though even if that’s all he was that would be plenty. Yesterday was another chance to show his football skills to scouts, the same ones who initially weren’t going to invite him to the Scouting Combine before relenting.

But his tale of overcoming the birth defect that cost him his left hand when he was 4 years old wasn’t enough for some, and he admitted that not being invited to the Combine at first was difficult for him.

“I was disappointed I wasn’t invited at first, but it wasn’t just me; it was the entire nation,” Griffin said. “At first, I put out a tweet when I wasn’t invited and the entire nation got behind me. They weren’t happy about it, either. . . . I want to thank everybody who got behind me, and I’m still giving them thanks because the job is not done yet.”

The 4.38-second 40-yard dash and 20 repetitions of the 225-pound bench press got everyone’s attention in Indianapolis, as well as game tape that shows him helping his team to an undefeated season with his pass-rush skills and playmaking.

“Everybody is late to the party,” teammate Mike Hughes said. “Everyone who lives in Orlando and roots for UCF knows what Shaquem is capable of and now the whole world is starting to realize it.”

While he’s not expected to be drafted in the first round, his story of persistence won’t go bad if he has to stay in Dallas an extra night before finding his new team on the second or even third day of the proceedings. And those who know him best are glad to see others realizing that.

27 responses to “Shaquem Griffin: “I have the entire nation behind me now”

  1. If there was ever a coach who cared more about production and less about number of limbs…BB is the one…

    Welcome to New England. To quote Gene Hackman, sometimes to win you need “miles and miles of heart”.

    This kid has it. I wish him all the best in his NFL career. Missing a hand is NOT the same as other disadvantages we normally hear about. Everything in his life has been harder than for him than us. This kid obviously has an incredible will to succeed and that alone is enough for me to want my team to draft him.

  2. Hard not to root for him! Very inspirational! He does more with one hand than most people do with two and I hope he gets drafted and has a Hall of Fame NFL career! Go Griffin! God bless!

  3. He had a dream, and, nothing dissuaded him from that dream. Attending the draft, even if he is not drafted, is another step to fulfilling that dream.
    More people need to be willing to put in the hard work necessary for fulfilling their individual dreams.

  4. I saw the Memphis game and the Auburn game, and this man can’t be ignored – he affected EVERY PLAY on defense. Auburn has a good offensive line, and he still was in on sacks, pressures, quick tackles on their many side throws… I hope the Packers get him. The tape doesn’t lie; he is a dominant player, story or not.

  5. He shouldn’t last until Day 3. He very well may…but he shouldn’t. Any LB who runs a sub-4.4, with his tape, production, coverage skills, and work ethic, has no business falling past round 3. ESPECIALLY with his strongest suits as a player all lend themselves to what is required more and more of LBs in today’s NFL…

    If he does fall to round 4 or even rd 5 (would be insanely stupid if it happened)…it’s going to show to him and everyone else that 32 teams in the NFL still doubt him, even the team picking him at that point. This will only fuel a guy like him to work ever harder, focus more intently, and just propel him towards great things. #MOTIVATION

    Love his attitude, humility, selflessness and damn is he TALENTED!! Whatever mass his body is missing due to absence of a left hand…went straight to his HEART dawg, and then some. He’s a stud and I can’t wait to see this guy win in the league. He had a fantastic HC with impeccable character and football IQ in Scott Frost (GBR!!!) and great teammates at UCF. He’s ready to start for someone from Day One.

    Don’t doubt it for a second.

    We are definitely rooting for you homie. Go change the game and change the world in the process too.

    God bless ‘Quem!

  6. riggo08 says:
    March 30, 2018 at 8:15 am
    How can you not pull for this guy? Great story.

    33 4 Rate This

    ——————————————————————————————-

    How can 4 people give you a thumbs down for what you said? It boggles my mind because you are 100% correct.
    Those 4 people should be put in a straight jacket in a rubber room somewhere.

  7. Goodell will have a deal where a team drafts him… like the Rams did with that one guy from Mizzou.

  8. Ok look, awesome kid and believe he will earn a spot on an NFL roster. But feel the media is beginning to overhype.

  9. This guy had every right to be pissed off at life, at the world or fall into depression – but he hasn’t.

    Whatever team ends up with him is getting a game changer not only on the field but in the locker room as well.
    Dude is a straight up role model on perseverance, positivity & how to accomplish your dreams.

    Kudos to his parents and his brother, their presence is evident all over this kid’s shine right now!

  10. Even if he doesn’t make a team, there’s got to be a job for him somewhere. To rise that high, and even be considered as a viable prospect, he must have a work ethic and commitment to the game that would be invaluable in any locker room. Hand him a playbook or clipboard or something.

    That is, of course, if he doesn’t make a team, and I’m certainly hoping that he does.

  11. Mr. Griffin…don’t be so quick to want “this entire nation” to be behind you. As soon as you offend anyone for even the slightest thing,they will try to chew you up and spit you out. Do this for yourself and your family and the team that selects you. This nation is full of hypocritical, close-minded, entitled people.

  12. There is a precedent for this already. From 1989 to 1999, a starting pitcher by the name of Jim Abbott, with the same disability, had a career in MLB, having played for the Angels, Yankees, White Sox and Brewers.There are even videos in YouTube….

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