Shaquem Griffin Drafted by Seattle Seahawks, Joining Twin Brother Shaquill

The NFL Draft is littered with fascinating backstories. Then there is the off the charts story of Shaquem Griffin, the inspiring LB who has been drafted by Seattle Seahawks in the fifth round. He joins his twin brother, Shaquill, a Seahawks cornerback. Here. the family gets the news:

A rare prenatal condition forced Griffin to have his left hand amputated at age 4. The stacked odds didn’t stop him from playing the sport he loved, along with Shaquill.

Though Shaquem was successful throughout his youth football career, collegiate teams were reticent to offer him a scholarship because of his condition. Brother of the century Shaquill received numerous offers but would only accept if a team brought on Shaquem as well. University of Central Florida was that team, though Shaquem was relegated to the scout team for the first three seasons and considered transferring.

UCF’s secondary coach’s decision to finally give Shaq a real shot paid dividends.  Using speed, power and a unique wrap around technique to tackle opponents, Shaquem produced a whopping 11.5 sacks his junior season, leading to an AAC first-team selection. He was also a first-team conference player last season. Then it was onto the NFL Draft but not without more adversity.

Shaquem was originally not invited to the NFL combine. But after the NFL changed its mind and extended the invite, he shined there as well, running a 4.38 40, the fastest time for a linebacker since 2003. His stock continued to rise throughout the draft season as teams spent more time with him and dug into his impressive film.  Shaquem was never going to be a Day 1 or 2 player, but the fact that his name was called at all in the NFL Draft is a testament to his immeasurable commitment to success.

Shaquem was one of 22 players who accepted an invite to attend the NFL Draft, even with the high likelihood that he would be last drafted of the bunch. A smart move by the NFL as fans attending the week’s festivities eschewed bigger names like Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen to be around Shaquem. Nike, understanding his marketing power, signed Shaq this week.

The stakes will only grow as Shaquem tries to thrive in an NFL laden with beasts. But why doubt him now?

Sorry, we’re out of tissues too.