“With the 141st pick in the 2018 draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Shaquem Griffin,” those are the words heard by Griffin, his family and his supporters as he became the first one-handed player drafted in the modern era.
How awesome! And Check out this amazing video on Griffin:
As ESPN reports, “Griffin had his left hand amputated at age 4 because of amniotic band syndrome, a congenital condition.” Despite his condition, on Saturday, Griffin was picked up in the fifth round of the NFL draft as the 141st overall pick.
What makes the moment even more endearing is that Griffin’s twin brother, Shaquill, was drafted by the Seahawks a year prior. The two brothers played together at the University of Central Florida and will now be reunited.
The Seahawks selected Griffin in the fifth round of the NFL draft Saturday with the 141st overall pick. He told ESPN that he was speechless when he was called by the Seahawks.
“I couldn’t breathe,” Griffin said. “I didn’t know what to say. I was trying to get the words out, but I couldn’t talk.”
Griffin had his left hand amputated at age 4 because of amniotic band syndrome, a congenital condition. He was a late addition to the list of combine invitees, getting his formal invitation on Jan. 30.
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Both Griffin brothers were visibly emotional upon learning that Shaquem had been drafted by the Seahawks.
“I don’t think I cried on my draft day,” Shaquill said. “I couldn’t hold it. I just couldn’t hold it. I’m excited and I’m glad we made that choice and we’re bringing my brother back home.”
Shaquem ran a time of 4.38 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the combine, the fastest time for a linebacker in more than a decade. He also did 20 repetitions of 225 pounds in the bench press, using a prosthetic on his left arm to attach to the bar.
“This is not the end of my road … it’s only just the beginning,” Shaquem said. “And I’m going to keep proving people wrong because I have a lot of people to prove wrong — a lot of doubters.”
Shaquem was a two-year starter at UCF and a first-team All-American Athletic Conference selection both seasons. He was the AAC’s defensive player of the year in 2016 and was named the defensive MVP of the Peach Bowl, which completed UCF’s 13-0 2017 season.
Here’s another awesome video from Griffin’s combine 40-yard dash:
And, take a look at Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll’s reaction:
Here’s more on Griffin, from USA Today:
The Central Florida linebacker was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the fifth round Saturday, becoming the first one-handed player to be drafted in the modern era. He will play alongside his twin brother, Shaquill Griffin, who was a third-round pick of the team last year and started 11 games at cornerback.
“It’s going to be everything we’ve ever wanted, everything we’ve prayed for,” Griffin told ESPN after the selection.
Griffin had his left hand amputated when he was 4 because of his amniotic band syndrome, a prenatal condition that caused the hand to be underdeveloped.
But that didn’t stop him from starring at Central Florida, where he was named the 2016 American Athletic Conference defensive player of the year and also served as a captain for last season’s 13-0 team. In two years as a starter, he recorded 166 tackles and 18 1/2 sacks.
Check out what people are saying about the emotional and historic moment:
If you don’t get chills/tears/misty-eyed watching the scene at Shaquem Griffin’s house when he was drafted, get your heart checked. pic.twitter.com/xD3x03prKa
— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) April 28, 2018
— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) April 28, 2018
Following the announcement, Seahawks star quarterback tweeted, “Wow. Chills. God is so good! Great job.”
Wow. Chills. God is so good! Great job @Seahawks
— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) April 28, 2018
— Travis Greene (@TravisGreeneTV) April 28, 2018
This is awesome!
— Felicia Burton (@fburton95) April 28, 2018
Here’s even more:
— KnightBaller (@UCFKnightmares) April 28, 2018
— Thirteen and Ohhh (@FearThePegasus) April 28, 2018
FINALLY! So happy for him!
— UCF National Champs (@tdlord1088) April 28, 2018
GREAT move Seattle ‼‼‼ pic.twitter.com/4TJEc4dwq8
— Wm. Dennis Poyner (@Moparfan69) April 28, 2018
Yep- I’m the biggest @Seahawks fan now! 💛🖤💚💙
— Vivian (@VivianHicks1) April 28, 2018
— Lou (@LouTweets2) April 28, 2018
Congrats!! All of Central Florida is behind you and such an inspiration!! Go get them!
— Kerry watson (@Watson14Kerry) April 28, 2018
😢 of joy
— Allen M. (@am_misfit) April 28, 2018