Shaquem Griffin – a name that could go down in NFL history; and be remembered by many in the sporting world.
The 22-year-old had an impressive showing in February at the 2018 NFL Combine – the league’s annual scouting event where young college players from around the country attempt to catch the eye of professional coaches. The youngsters attempt a series of drills, e.g. vertical jump, 40-year dash and more, as coaches from all the NFL sides narrow down the players they need for the upcoming season.
Shaquem made the most of the opportunity – running the fastest 40-yard dash of any player in his position ever – 4.38 seconds. He also bench pressed a huge 102kg 20 times, with his previous best being 11.
But what makes his achievements stand out is that Shaquem has only one hand!
The Florida man was born with Amniotic Band Syndrome – a condition in which the unborn baby becomes entangled in fibrous string-like amniotic bands in the womb. In Shaquem’s case, the condition affected his left hand, resulting in his fingers not to fully develop. His left hand was amputated at age four.
But that has not deterred Shaquem from pursuing a career in sports.
He is a graduate from the University of Central Florida (UCF) and was part of the championship winning side in 2018. He was named the 2018 Peach Bowl Defensive MVP and was the 2016 American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year.
Despite two excellent seasons for UCF Knights, Shaquem was not invited to the trails initially. However, his performance at the Senior Bowl, the all-star game at the end of the season featuring the best players at college level, earned him a spot at the scouting event.
His performance at the Combine is likely to get him a professional contract when the NFL Draft gets underway in April. If he does get picked, he will become the first ever player in the NFL with only one hand!
Here’s a couple of clip of his outputs at the Combine!
Shaquem Griffin put up 20 reps on bench press at the @NFL combine. It may be important to note that he only has one hand. Just to get some perspective, Oklahoma offense lineman, Orlando Brown got only 14 reps (with two hands). #combine2018 pic.twitter.com/MPIdFIfBwm
— EM- SportScience (@EMsportscience) March 4, 2018