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Shaquem Griffin Joins the Seahawks

Shaquem+Griffin%2C+the+new+football+linebacker+for+the+Seattle+Seahawks
Shaquem Griffin, the new football linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks

Shaquem Griffin, the new football linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks

Sporting News

Sporting News

Shaquem Griffin, the new football linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks

Kayden Mandley, Photojournalist

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Shaquem Griffin is not just a remarkable story, he is an incredible player. At birth, he lost his left hand due to a prenatal condition known as amniotic band syndrome, but that did not stop him from being named as the “American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year in his first year as a starting outside linebacker in 2016,” according to NFL. He has played football with his twin brother, Shaquill Griffin, since they were children and they have always been “a package deal,” stated Shaquill, even when they played football at the University of Central Florida (UCF).

 

However, Shaquill, just born one minute before Shaquem, left UCF one year earlier than his brother to play in the NFL. Though this might have been a demoralizing situation for Shaquem, it only made him a thousand times more determined to stand out. While his brother was playing with Seattle, Shaquem played with UCF for the next three years and, as a senior, was a second-team All-State pick in Florida.

 

With both brothers settling on opposite sides of the coast they never thought they would be playing on the same team ever again; “I continued to tell him,” Shaquill explained, “it was a one percent chance that this [playing on the same team] could actually happen,” but little did they know that was far from the truth.

 

Because of Shaquem’s birth defect, which stunted the development of his appendage and causes extreme pain, many have underestimated his ability to play football in the NFL. Still, that never deterred Shaquem’s hopes.

 

This became and advantage for Shaquem because, in the months leading up to the draft, he was invited by Phil Savage to try out at the Senior Bowl. From there, “Using a prosthetic hand, he bench pressed 225 pounds 20 times, a full three more reps than Shaquill had one year earlier,” as specified by Sports Illustrated, then he “[ran] the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds, which registered as the fastest time for a linebacker at the combine since 2003.”

 

Afterwards, Shaquem received a call and learned that he was finally going to be able to live his dream. With that, Shaquem said, “If I had to do it all over again, I definitely would, to have the opportunity to be with my brother once more, I think I’m in the best spot ever now.”

 

Shaquem Griffin is one of the most incredible stories in football and he has been an inspiration for many people, not just for his limb deficiency or the fans, but for his attitude and the way he never accepted the idea that he was at a disadvantage, even with so many others trying to convince him that he was. Arian Bijanzadeh (12) is a major football fan and was excited to point out that “It is spectacular that there is more representation for the disabled and I really think Griffin’s story gives so much motivation to people with disabilities. It shows that they don’t have to be held down because of their differences.”

 

With that, fans are anxious to see Shaquem play and cannot wait to see what he brings out to the team as he plays by his brothers side once again. Good luck Shaquem!    

 

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Shaquem Griffin Joins the Seahawks