Determined to make a difference despite being born with an amniotic disorder that led to his hand amputation, Shaquem Griffin made the headline as the first amputee to be drafted in the NFL. He was drafted in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL draft by the Seattle Seahawks with the 141st pick. The successful draft reunited him with his NFL professional twin brother whom he had enjoyed a playing time with since they were in the womb. His story is an inspiration to so many people – learn how he turned his pains to fame.
Shaquem Griffin – Bio
It was on July 20, 1995, at St. Petersburg, Florida, that Shaquem Alphonso Griffin was born, just a few minutes after his identical twin brother; Shaquill Griffin was delivered to Tangie and Terry Griffin. His mother is a medical data analyst while his father worked as a truck operator.
Though they were born twins but Shaquem came with an amniotic band syndrome, a disorder that affected his left finger/hand and caused him severe pains. When the pains became unbearable for young Shaquem, he attempted cutting off his hand with a kitchen knife, thus, the parents saw the need to carry out amputation surgery on the young chap.
The hand was officially amputated at the age of 4, to ameliorate the pains caused by the disorder. As a talented athlete with determination, he kept his eyes on the pitch, playing football alongside his twin brother.
He passed through Lakewood High School in St. Petersburg Florida where he excelled in baseball, track and football. After the great stats he garnered in high school, Coach George O’Leary offered the two brothers a football scholarship at the University of Florida where Shaquem made significant records to his name.
In his first season, he managed to feature in a single game against UCF Knights Team, he was eventually redshirted. Playing as a redshirt freshman in the second season, he fell below the pecking order and had to be demoted.
However, the arrival of a new coach, Scott Frost, opened the door for Shaquem. He got the chance to play and proved his worth. He was named the American Athletic Conference (AAC) Defensive Player of the Year during his junior season as a starter in 2016. He also won All-Conference first-team honours in 2017.
After contributing immensely to seeing his team to the 13-0 unbeaten run during his senior year, he was honoured with the defensive MVP at the 2018 Peach Bowl. While Shaquill his brother graduated ahead of Shaquem, to enter the 2017 draft, the latter stayed a season more in UCF to serve out his redshirt season.
Before finishing high school in November 2017, Shaquem made known his intention to continue his football career in the NFL, he participated in the NFL Scouting Combine in March of 2018 where he showed evaluators that he has got what it takes to play professionally. He made headlines for performing 20 reps in the bench press while wearing prosthesis as well as running a 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds – the fastest a linebacker could go since 2003.
Though he was not projected as a first-round pick, he eventually got an invitation to the 2018 NFL Draft which he accepted in March 2018. Mainstream and social media were agog with Shaquem’s invitation as he would be the first one-handed player to be drafted into the NFL, should he be chosen.
His greatest dream of being an NFL player came to reality on April 28, 2018, when Seattle Seahawks drafted him in the fifth round with the 141st overall pick. The draft reunited him with his twin brother who was picked by same team the previous year.
He officially signed a four-year contract with the team on May 17, 2018, worth $2.8 million with $300,000 guaranteed. He made his preseason appearance on August 9, 2018, against Indianapolis Colts where he recorded six solo tackles and three assisted tackles.
He has since kicked off his professional career with fine form and would create more history in the game he so much dreamed about.
The Linebacker recalled how his dad made him believe he could play football despite his challenges and would often help him work out without excuses by building all kinds of contraptions to help him lift weights.
As already stated, Shaquem is a twin brother to Shaquill Griffin and they are quite identical. Sharing most things in common including date of birth; they attended the same high school and college and currently rendering services to the same team in the NFL.
Though Shaquill joined the Seahawks after being selected in the third round with the 90th overall pick during the 2017 NFL Draft, his twin brother had to spend one extra year at the UFC to serve out his redshirt season before joining his brother in the same team in 2018.
Both have remained an inspiration and source of courage to each other. Shaquill plays as a cornerback for the Seahawks and wears Jersey Number 26.
Height, Weight, And Body Measurements
Shaquem Griffin is a player with great speed as shown when he ran a 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds. Moreso, he has a great physique as he is not left out in the list of NFL players who are up to 6 ft.
The Seahawks Linebacker currently stands at 6 ft 0 (1.83m), the height is equally backed with an impressive weight of 103 kg. He commands an arm length of 32 1/8 inches (0.82 m) and hand size of 9 inches (0.23 m)