Former UCF linebacker Shqauem Griffin was drafted in the fifth round of the NFL draft by the Seattle Seahawks. It marks just another incredible feat for the former Knight, who lost his left hand in fourth grade due to a rate prenatal condition, as he continues to defy the odds.
1. The moment Griffin found out he was drafted is so special:
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
On the Seahawks’ end, it was just as good, too:
2. With the Seahawks picking him, he’ll get to join his twin brother, Shaquill, in Seattle.
Shaquill, who plays cornerback for the Seahawks and was selected in the third round of the 2017 draft, played football with Shaquem as they both grew up and in college at UCF.
Brothers have been drafted to the same team before, but it’s been 17 years since that last happened:
Shaquem Griffin will join his brother Shaquill on the Seahawks.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 28, 2018
The last time brothers were drafted by the same team was in 2001, when the Titans took CB Andre Dyson in the second round, after they had taken WR Kevin Dyson in round one in 1998 via @EliasSports pic.twitter.com/PEUNjhgG7A
3. He was actually in the bathroom when the Seahawks gave him the call.
Shaquem’s brother had to physically come into the bathroom to give him the phone, but not before tackling him out of excitement:
Shaquem was actually using his hotel room’s bathroom when he got that call with his life-changing news. Shaquill grabbed his twin’s phone, saw the 425 area code for Renton and recognized the number for the Seahawks’ headquarters. He burst into the bathroom and there, right at the toilet, tackled Shaquem.
”You HAVE to get this!” he told him.
Shaquem expanded on the story later on NFL Network:
4. He’s inspiring young kids.
One of those is Julianna Linton, who is 12 years old and missing part of her left arm:
A few months later, when Julianna needed surgery on her arm, he sent her an email message offering words of encouragement.
“He plays football with one hand, and that inspires me to want to continue doing competitive cheer with one hand, too,” Julianna said. “I think that if he played college football with one hand, I can do college cheer with one hand, too.”
The two saw each other again this past September, when Limbitless Solutions invited several of its bionic kids to participate in the coin toss between UCF and Memphis. Linton and 13-year-old Annika Emmert were among the kids who got to see Shaquem, and also cheer on the sideline.
She even wished him good luck before the draft:
Speaking on NFL Network after his selection, he had a pretty memorable and inspiring quote when asked about going through the combine.
“People say this history in the making,” Griffin said on the broadcast. “Well there’s people making history every single day, and I want people to understand this. It doesn’t matter if you have one hand, two hands, three hands, or 40 hands, if you keep pushing for everything you want in life you’re going to accomplish it. At the end of the day, when you wake up in the morning and you see yourself in the mirror, there’s only one person that can stop you from having a good day, and that’s yourself.”
5. A couple hours after he was picked, he got a standing ovation at AT&T Stadium.
Griffin was in his hotel in Dallas when he got the call, but headed back to the stadium after getting selected.
Shaquem Griffin receives standing ovation from AT&T crowd as he soaks up his moment with a dozen family members present. pic.twitter.com/6UAzerXOh6— Jeremy Bergman (@JABergman) April 28, 2018
He was joined on-stage by his brother, too.
6. NFL stars are pretty pumped that he got drafted.
Congrats @Shaquemgriffin !! Like I told you this morning, it’s time to keep proving the critics that don’t know anything about heart or why the beacon of light always shines. #NFLDraft https://t.co/zUXiW18DeW— D-Ware (@DeMarcusWare) April 28, 2018
Congrats to @Shaquemgriffin !!!! I love when the under dawg climbs to the top!!!— ROBERT MATHIS The1st (@RobertMathis98) April 28, 2018
7. The pick is the culmination of an incredible combine performance he had in February, which followed his awesome college career.
It was headlined by his 40-yard dash, which was the fastest by a linebacker ever, and it matched his brother’s time from the year before:
That time was faster than All-Pros like Ezekiel Elliott, Julio Jones, and Richard Sherman.
But his talent was on display at UCF, too. He had two career interceptions and 11 pass breakups, along with 18.5 career sacks and tons of tackles.
Can’t wait to see what you do in the NFL, Shaquem.