Whatever Shaquill Griffin can do, Shaquem Griffin is certain he can do better.
Shaquem Griffin earned a late combine invite and plans to top his twin brother’s combine marks from a year ago. Shaquill, a cornerback, ran a 4.38 in the 40, did 17 reps in the bench press and had a 38.5-inch vertical jump on his way to becoming a third-round pick of the Seahawks.
“I’m going to beat his times,” Shaquem said in front of his brother Wednesday. “I’m going to let everybody know now.”
The University of Central Florida linebacker was born with a condition that resulted in amputation of his left hand when he was 4. He never has let it stop him, making 195 tackles, 33.5 tackles for loss, 18.5 sacks, three interceptions and four forced fumbles in his career at UCF.
“I feel like he’s proved more than enough going through his whole college career,” said Shaquill Griffin, whose birth 16 seconds before his brother allowed him to declare himself the winner of their first competition. “That’s something you tend not to see because he plays with so much effort. He’s a baller. He continues to show people how good he actually is. I guess if they seen him play when he was 4 years old when he first started, this hand issue is definitely not a problem.”
Shaquem played in the Senior Bowl before beginning his pre-combine training at the Michael Johnson Performance Center in McKinney, Texas. Johnson, a four-time Olympic gold medalist, said Shaquem has “fantastic athleticism” and “works around any limitations,” pointing out that all athletes face some sort of limitation.
Shaquem knows NFL scouts have doubts.
“Just because I have one hand there’s going to be doubt from other coaches, and everybody in the country is going to say I don’t think he can really do this,” Shaquem Griffin said. “You know what? Whatever team is going to get me is going to get somebody special because I’m going to be that guy who’s going to give you his all no matter what. If it’s a walk-through, you’ll get my all. If it’s just talking, you’re going to get my all. If it’s just watching film. . . . You’re going to get my all in everything I do. I know I can be that guy who can get things done, and I know what the expectations are that I set for myself.”
Shaquem doesn’t know if any team will take a chance on him during the three-day draft. All he wants is a chance with someone.
“I never worry about [being drafted],” he said. “The whole thing is control what I can control. If I was able to go to a team and make my own phone call and call myself, trust me, I would. But it’s not in my control; it’s not in my hands. The only thing I can do is be around my family and hope my name is called. But the only thing I need is an opportunity or a door to open for me. That’s all I ever ask for. If I get that, I’m going to skyrocket for there.”