Shaquem Griffin: “The only thing I need is an opportunity”

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Whatever Shaquill Griffin can do, Shaquem Griffin is certain he can do better.

Shaquem Griffin earned a late combine invite and plans to top his twin brother’s combine marks from a year ago. Shaquill, a cornerback, ran a 4.38 in the 40, did 17 reps in the bench press and had a 38.5-inch vertical jump on his way to becoming a third-round pick of the Seahawks.

“I’m going to beat his times,” Shaquem said in front of his brother Wednesday. “I’m going to let everybody know now.”

The University of Central Florida linebacker was born with a condition that resulted in amputation of his left hand when he was 4. He never has let it stop him, making 195 tackles, 33.5 tackles for loss, 18.5 sacks, three interceptions and four forced fumbles in his career at UCF.

“I feel like he’s proved more than enough going through his whole college career,” said Shaquill Griffin, whose birth 16 seconds before his brother allowed him to declare himself the winner of their first competition. “That’s something you tend not to see because he plays with so much effort. He’s a baller. He continues to show people how good he actually is. I guess if they seen him play when he was 4 years old when he first started, this hand issue is definitely not a problem.”

Shaquem played in the Senior Bowl before beginning his pre-combine training at the Michael Johnson Performance Center in McKinney, Texas. Johnson, a four-time Olympic gold medalist, said Shaquem has “fantastic athleticism” and “works around any limitations,” pointing out that all athletes face some sort of limitation.

Shaquem knows NFL scouts have doubts.

“Just because I have one hand there’s going to be doubt from other coaches, and everybody in the country is going to say I don’t think he can really do this,” Shaquem Griffin said. “You know what? Whatever team is going to get me is going to get somebody special because I’m going to be that guy who’s going to give you his all no matter what. If it’s a walk-through, you’ll get my all. If it’s just talking, you’re going to get my all. If it’s just watching film. . . . You’re going to get my all in everything I do. I know I can be that guy who can get things done, and I know what the expectations are that I set for myself.”

Shaquem doesn’t know if any team will take a chance on him during the three-day draft. All he wants is a chance with someone.

“I never worry about [being drafted],” he said. “The whole thing is control what I can control. If I was able to go to a team and make my own phone call and call myself, trust me, I would. But it’s not in my control; it’s not in my hands. The only thing I can do is be around my family and hope my name is called. But the only thing I need is an opportunity or a door to open for me. That’s all I ever ask for. If I get that, I’m going to skyrocket for there.”

20 responses to “Shaquem Griffin: “The only thing I need is an opportunity”

  1. I’m rooting so hard for this guy to make it. Sounds like whatever teams signs him will be signing a hard worker and a class act.

  2. I don’t care how many hands he has, the dude is a beast….. And I’ll believe he’ll be successful wherever he ends up.

  3. Definitely has the ability to make it. He’s proven that. It’s just a matter of him being able to adapt to play against a much higher level of competition than he’s ever faced.

  4. Love the person and the player. I hope the niners consider him in the draft. His passion and dedication is exactly what a young up and coming team needs. At best he’s a starting linebacker, at worst he’ll be your best special teamer, he’d fit the Steve Tasker role beautifully

  5. I don’t think there’s a better story in the draft. Saw him play a couple of games this year, it wouldn’t be charity or PR or whatever you want to call it for a team to draft him. The guy was all over the field making plays. He’s earned the right to compete for a roster spot.

  6. Whatever Shaquill Griffin can do, Shaquem Griffin is certain he can do better


    If he can bench 225 more than 17 times with 1 hand, you can color me impressed ..but that’s about as fantastical as UCF believing they actually won the national title

  7. I’m rooting for the guy as much as anyone else, but how exactly can he do bench presses with only one hand?

  8. Welcome to the Seahawks kid. Whether by draft or UDFA, you’re coming to Seattle where you’ll see all the 12’s with open arms. Only one thing, your brother “stole” your nickname so you’re going to have to go by “Gryff” now. Can’t wait to see you fill our need at OLB.

  9. Yea those pesky millennials. So entitled. Right? Yes this is a shot at most of the pft posters who bash millennials when a bad story comes out, and don’t give credit when a good story comes out. Good and bad seeds in every generation

  10. Best part, if he comes to the Seahawks, he and his brother will have their lifelong twin mind-meld and experience playing together.

    He obviously has the drive, motor and talent to succeed in the NFL, but his best situation is going to be sharing the field with bis twin brother like they have their entire lives up to last year.

    Regardless where you end up, best of success to you sir; you’ve earned everything that comes your way.

  11. I really think he’s going to have a hard time going against elite level athletes with only one hand. But I hope like hell I’m wrong though I want to see him do great.

  12. He’s got the right attitude and sounds like he’s got the talent. Plus there’s a 50 percent less likely chance he’ll get called for defensive holding (gotta turn perceived weaknesses into strengths)!

    It would be foolish to not give him a shot.

  13. Love this kid and hope he kills it at the next level. I wonder if he was poking fun at himself when he said his draft status is out of his hands. Either way, the NFL could use more fine young men like this guy.

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