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Shaquem Griffin

Shaquem Griffin

Shaquem Alphonso Griffin[3] /ʃəˈkiːm/ (born July 20, 1995) is an American football linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL). He is the twin brother of Seahawks cornerback Shaquill Griffin, and both brothers played college football for the University of Central Florida Knights.[4] As an amputee with one hand, Shaquem Griffin received extensive media coverage as a prospective 2018 NFL Draft pick.[5][6][7][8] He was selected as a fifth round pick (141st overall) by the Seahawks on April 28, 2018, reuniting him with Shaquill.[9]

Shaquem GriffinExternal video
No. 49 –Seattle Seahawks
Personal information
Born:(1995-07-20)July 20, 1995
St. Petersburg, Florida, U.S.
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:227 lb (103 kg)
Career information
High school:Lakewood
(St. Petersburg, Florida)
NFL Draft:2018 / Round: 5 / Pick: 141
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
  • American Athletic Conference. Fifth Anniversary Team (2018)[1]
  • Peach Bowl Defensive MVP (2018)
  • Senior CLASS Award (2017)[2]
  • Second-team All-American (2017)
  • 2x First-team All-AAC (2016, 2017)
  • AAC Defensive Player of the Year (2016)
  • NCAA Inspiration Award (2019)
Career NFL statistics as of 2018
Total tackles:11
Forced fumbles:0
Fumble recoveries:0
Player stats at **NFL.com [42] **
Total tackles:11
Forced fumbles:0
Fumble recoveries:0
Player stats at **NFL.com [42] **
Shaquem Griffin runs fastest 40-yard dash by a linebacker [44]
UCF LB Shaquem Griffin puts up 20 reps on the bench press [45]
"I Am Shaquem Griffin" NFL video [46]

Early life

Shaquem Griffin was born to Terry and Tangie Griffin[10] on July 20, 1995, less than two minutes after Shaquill.[11][12] Shaquem was born with amniotic band syndrome affecting his left hand, causing his fingers on his left hand not to fully develop.[10][13][14] At age 4, his mother found him in the kitchen, attempting to use a butcher's knife to amputate his own hand because of the pain. His parents scheduled an amputation the next day.[10][12] Still, Griffin was able to continue playing sports without his left hand, competing in track, baseball, and football alongside his brother.[10]

College career

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
NameHometownHigh school / collegeHeightWeight40Commit date
Shaquem Griffin
St. Petersburg, FloridaLakewood HS6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)183 lb (83 kg)4.63Jul 27, 2012 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:3/5 starsRivals:3/5 stars247Sports:2/5 stars   ESPN grade: 70
Overall recruiting rankings:
  • ‡ Refers to 40 yard dash
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height, weight and 40 time.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.
  • "2012 Team Ranking"[43] . Rivals.com.

    Shaquem and his brother Shaquill were both offered football scholarships at the University of Central Florida (UCF) by then-coach George O'Leary, with Shaquill rejecting offers from other teams including the Miami Hurricanes, his dream team, to play with Shaquem.[15] Griffin spent his whole college career at UCF, totaling 17 sacks and 30 tackles for a loss. Notable plays also include an interception versus the Temple Owls[16] and a fumble recovery for a touchdown versus the Austin Peay Governors,[17] both during the 2017 season.

    In his second season, playing as a redshirt freshman, Shaquem Griffin had a brief stint as a second string player on the depth chart before being demoted to third string and then scout team. Griffin attributes his rise in his redshirt junior and redshirt senior seasons to Scott Frost's hiring as head coach for the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Writing for The Players' Tribune, Griffin said that, following his winless third season under O'Leary, "Coach Frost came in and brought me back into the light...He gave me the opportunity I had been waiting for ever since I first arrived at UCF. And I took advantage of it."[18]

    Griffin was named the 2018 Peach Bowl Defensive MVP and was the 2016 American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year. In Griffin's senior season, UCF went undefeated and subsequently claimed a controversial national championship.[38] Griffin told Ralph Warner and NFL Network in November 2017 that he planned to continue his football career in the NFL.

    Shaquem stayed at UCF one season longer than Shaquill, as Shaquem redshirted his freshman year while Shaquill saw playing time.[22][23][24] Shaquill graduated and was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the third round (90th overall pick) of the 2017 NFL Draft,[25] while Shaquem stayed on for his redshirt senior year at UCF.

    After the end of his college career, Griffin was named as one of two recipients of the 2019 NCAA Inspiration Award, presented to individuals currently or formerly associated with NCAA athletics for especially inspirational efforts in dealing with life-altering personal situations. He received the award alongside Maggie Nichols, the first individual to report having been sexually assaulted by Larry Nassar.[26][27]

    Professional career

    Despite not initially receiving an invitation,[28][29] Griffin participated in the NFL Scouting Combine in March 2018. He made headlines for performing 20 reps in the bench press while wearing a prosthesis[30] and for running the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds, the fastest time for a linebacker since the NFL has released official statistics.[31]

    Pre-draft measurables
    HtWtArm lengthHand size40-yard dash10-yd split20-yd split20-ss3-coneVert jumpBroadBP
    6 ft038 in
    (1.84 m)
    227 lb
    (103 kg)
    3218 in
    (0.82 m)
    9 in
    (0.23 m)
    4.38 s1.54 s2.58 s6.95 s3512 in
    (0.90 m)
    9 ft 9 in
    (2.97 m)
    20 reps
    All values from NFL Combine and Pro Day[32][33]

    Despite the fact that he was not projected as a first round pick, Griffin received an invitation to the 2018 NFL Draft, which he accepted on March 29, 2018.[34][35] Griffin received extensive press and social media coverage leading up to and during the draft, as he would have been the first one-handed player drafted into the NFL if chosen.[5][6][7][8] On April 28, 2018, he was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the fifth round (141st overall), reuniting him with his brother Shaquill.[9][36] On May 17, 2018, Griffin signed a four-year deal worth $2.8 million with $300,000 guaranteed.[37]

    On August 9, 2018 Griffin made his preseason debut against the Indianapolis Colts in CenturyLink Field, leading his team in tackles with six solo tackles and three assisted tackles. On August 30, 2018, he again led the team in tackles with four solo and three assisted tackles in the final week of the preseason against the Oakland Raiders. Griffin led the Seahawks in total tackles for the entire 2018 NFL preseason with fifteen, tied with fellow linebacker Austin Calitro.

    On September 9, 2018, Griffin was named as a starter in the first game of his NFL career due to veteran linebacker K.J. Wright being unable to play. He made three solo tackles in the 27-24 loss to the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium.


    • Griffin, Shaquem (March 2, 2018). "A Letter to NFL GMs" [47] . The Players' Tribune.


    Citation Linktheamerican.org"American Announces Fifth Anniversary Football Team". American Athletic Conference. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
    Sep 29, 2019, 8:45 PM
    Citation Linkwww.seniorclassaward.com"UCF's Shaquem Griffin Selected as the 2017 Senior CLASS Award® Winner for FBS Football | Senior CLASS Award". www.seniorclassaward.com (Press release). December 27, 2017.
    Sep 29, 2019, 8:45 PM
    Citation Linkknightnews.comGraddy, Tyler. "Shaquem Griffin One-on-One: Life After Football, Book Plans and Living Away from His Brother | KnightNews.com". knightnews.com.
    Sep 29, 2019, 8:45 PM
    Citation Linkwww.orlandosentinel.comGreen, Shannon (April 24, 2017). "For UCF standout Shaquill Griffin, NFL dream is all about family". OrlandoSentinel.com. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
    Sep 29, 2019, 8:45 PM
    Citation Linkwww.today.comStump, Scott (March 5, 2018). "College football player with one hand looks to make history at NFL draft". Today.
    Sep 29, 2019, 8:45 PM
    Citation Linkwww.theguardian.comMcMahan, Ian (April 26, 2018). "Shaquem Griffin: can a one-handed college star make it in the NFL?". The Guardian.
    Sep 29, 2019, 8:45 PM
    Citation Linkwww.sbnation.comKirshner, Alex (April 28, 2018). "Shaquem Griffin is already the NFL Draft's best story, no matter where he goes". SB Nation.
    Sep 29, 2019, 8:45 PM
    Citation Linkwww.nfl.comGoodhead, Chase (February 21, 2018). "One-handed LB Shaquem Griffin on verge of making NFL history". NFL.com.
    Sep 29, 2019, 8:45 PM
    Citation Linkwww.espn.com"One-handed LB Shaquem Griffin drafted by Seahawks, reunited with twin brother Shaquill". ESPN.com. April 28, 2018.
    Sep 29, 2019, 8:45 PM
    Citation Linkwww.espn.comGlock, Allison. "NCF: Identical twins have NFL dreams, with only three hands". ESPN.com.
    Sep 29, 2019, 8:45 PM
    Citation Linkseahawkswire.usatoday.comDrahold, Bryon (May 2, 2017). "Seahawks cornerback Shaquill Griffin kept promise to twin brother". Seahawks Wire.
    Sep 29, 2019, 8:45 PM
    Citation Linkwww.si.comStaples, Andy (November 16, 2017). "Shaquem Griffin: UCF's unstoppable one-handed star". Sports Illustrated.
    Sep 29, 2019, 8:45 PM
    Citation Linkwww.orlandosentinel.comGreen, Shannon (September 8, 2016). "Shaquem, Shaquill Griffin shine for UCF, don't let disability hold them back". Orlando Sentinel.
    Sep 29, 2019, 8:45 PM
    Citation Linksports.yahoo.comAdelson, Eric (August 17, 2017). "Is the NFL next for one-handed Shaquem Griffin?". Yahoo Sports.
    Sep 29, 2019, 8:45 PM
    Citation Linkwww.nfl.comOrr, Conor. "Shaquill Griffin stuck by his twin; now NFL teams are catching up". NFL.com. Retrieved April 28, 2018.
    Sep 29, 2019, 8:45 PM
    Citation Linkwww.espn.com"UCF's Griffin continues impressive season with interception". ESPN.com.
    Sep 29, 2019, 8:45 PM
    Citation Linkwww.orlandosentinel.com"UCF linebacker Shaquem Griffin savors first career touchdown, contributes to record-setting win". Orlando Sentinel.
    Sep 29, 2019, 8:45 PM
    Citation Linkwww.theplayerstribune.comGriffin, Shaquem (March 2, 2018). "A Letter to NFL GMs". The Players' Tribune.
    Sep 29, 2019, 8:45 PM
    Citation Linkwww.colleyrankings.com"2017 Rankings, Week 17". Colley Matrix. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
    Sep 29, 2019, 8:45 PM
    Citation Linkfs.ncaa.org"Football Bowl Subdivision Records" (PDF). NCAA. p. 109. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
    Sep 29, 2019, 8:45 PM