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One-Handed Shaquem Griffin Impresses at NFL Combine

Courtesy+of+ESPN+Seattle
Courtesy of ESPN Seattle

Courtesy of ESPN Seattle

Courtesy of ESPN Seattle

Anoushka Gupta, Staff Writer

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  The 2018 NFL Scouting Combine ended on Monday, March 5 at Lucas Oil Field, Indianapolis, after a week-long scouting process. The event featured numerous college football players undergoing various mental and physical tests to test their athletic prowess in front of numerous NFL managers, coaches, and scouts. This year, prospect Shaquem Griffin, stood out, not only for his athletic performance, but because of his physical disability.

    Griffin was born with Amniotic Band Syndrome, a painful disease that affects the fingers ability to grow, and was forced to amputate his left hand at the age of four and now wears a prosthetic arm.  
    Griffin was able to overcome his disability through hard work and determination, developing to earn an spectacular college football career, winning 2016 American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year. Despite his success, Griffin was almost not invited to participate in the Combine and was not invited to participate last year, unlike his brother Shaquill Griffin, who now plays for the Seattle Seahawks.

    However, Griffin did get invited to the Combine, where he proved himself with an impressive performance, bench pressing 20 repetitions of a 225 weight, the most pressed at the Combine and running the 40 yard-dash in a 4.38 seconds, the fastest time run by a linebacker of his weight.

    Griffin was proud of his performance and said, “So many people are going to have doubts about what I can do. Some people think I can do three, some people think I can do five, some people didn’t think I could do the bench press. But I went and did it and competed with everybody else and did 20, and that’s just one step closer to everything I need to accomplish. There’s going to be a lot more doubters saying what I can’t do, and I’m ready to prove them wrong.”

   Dongho Kang (12) was inspired by Griffin and said, “I think this goes to show how your willingness or drive to succeed to be greater than any obstacle in your way, but a lot of people don’t see that. The fact that Griffin was able to overcome his disability to hard work is probably why he performed so well.”

   Griffin indeed has a lot to be proud of and has rose to become one of the likeliest top-draft picks and earned an interview with the Seahawks. If Griffin does join the NFL, he will become the first amputee football player in history, marking an important victory for the disabled community.

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