Shaquem Griffin on a quest to prove he is more than a ‘feel good story’
One of the best stories of the entire 2018 NFL Draft without question has been the emergence of former Central Florida linebacker Shaquem Griffin.
As a result of a rare condition in the womb, Shaquem lost his left hand at age 4. Despite having only one hand, Griffin went on to be a star with the Knights, who did not lose a game last season. In the NFL Draft Combine, Griffin ran a 4.38 40-yard dash — the fastest ever recorded by a linebacker — dazzling the football world. The Seahawks pulled the trigger, and drafted Griffin the fifth round of the NFL draft.
However, Griffin wants to be more than the NFL “feel good story” and help the Seahawks win games.
I don’t want to be a guy who’s just a feel-good story,” Griffin said. “I want to be a football player, and a good one at that.”
In Seattle, Griffin will be joining his brother, Shaquill, who was a third-round pick of the Seahawks in last years NFL Draft as a defensive back.
“My brother kind of tackled me with my cell phone saying, ‘Answer it! Answer it!'” Shaquem said. “I looked, and that’s when tears just started pouring down. I was in the restroom and my brother busted in and tackled me.”
Griffin will be joining a Seahawks defense that has had a lot of overturn in this offseason. The team parted ways with top pass-rusher Michael Bennett in a trade to the Eagles and also cut ties with cornerback Richard Sherman, who signed with rival San Francisco. Griffin is ready to step in, though — and has a lot of confidence in his abilities.
“They are getting a diamond in the rough,” Griffin said. “I’m not going to lie to you, just like they got with my brother.”
The future of the Seahawks is not as stable as it was in previous years. The status of Kam Chancellor and Cliff Avril has been up in the air due to health concerns. But under defensive coach Pete Carroll — and along with veterans like Chancellor and Avril — the Griffin brothers will be in good hands to develop into quality pros.