Shaquem Griffin just keeps surpassing expectations.
The former UCF linebacker was born with a birth defect that forced his left hand to be amputated during his early childhood. Some might've thought that would preclude him from a career in the NFL, yet here we are.
While Griffin was a second-team All-American in 2017, he initially did not receive an invite to the NFL Combine. However, a late invititation was eventually extended, and Griffin made the most of the opportunity.
He impressed in the Bench Press event, putting up 20 reps of 225 pounds while using a prosthetic on his left arm:
UCF LB Shaquem Griffin puts up 20 reps on the bench press using a prosthetic on his left arm. pic.twitter.com/jSnyE9x2hL
— NFL Access (@NFL_Access) March 3, 2018
Griffin told Pro Football Talk that he was only averaging 11 reps during that event in training, so 20 was an excellent result. Griffin still remembers first getting fitted for the prosthetic at UCF, and how challenging those first few reps felt. "When I started lifting, I could barely bench the bar," Griffin told SI.com. "I mean, I'm shaking all over the place and the bar is falling, and I can't lift 45 pounds. But it just goes to show how much work I put in to get to this point…it's amazing to see how far I came, from not being able to bench the bar to throwing up 20 reps at 225, and being able to compete with the best here."
But it was Griffin's performance in the 40-Yard Dash that really got everyone talking:
First, an anonymous GM said he'd be shocked if Shaquem Griffin got 5 reps on bench press ... He got 20
Just now, Griffin silenced all his critics ... with a 4.38 40-yard dash
— Troy Hughes™ (@TommySledge) March 4, 2018
Griffin's 4.38 was the fastest time recorded by a linebacker at the NFL Combine in 15 years. It very well may be the fastest time recorded by a linebacker in the history of the event, but reliable data only goes back to 2003.
After proving he has elite speed and impressive upper-body strength to go along with his incredible instincts and high football IQ, NFL teams should be more than eager to give Shaquem Griffin a shot at the next level.
Photo Credit: Michael Hickey/Getty Images
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