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Sport Shaquem Griffin refuses to let hand amputation dash NFL dream

20:11  04 march  2018
20:11  04 march  2018 Source:   sportingnews.com

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INDIANAPOLIS — Shaquem Griffin should hope every top NFL personnel executive sees him in the same light as Tom Telesco does. When it comes to the University of Central Florida linebacker’s lack of a left hand affecting his draft stock, the Chargers general manager said the words Griffin wants to hear.

INDIANAPOLIS — Shaquem Griffin should hope every top NFL personnel executive sees him in the same light as Tom Telesco does. Griffin hasn't let the impediment — the result of a birth defect (Amniotic Band Syndrome) that caused amputation at the age of four — dash his football dreams .

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INDIANAPOLIS - Shaquem Griffin should hope every top NFL personnel executive sees him in the same light as Tom Telesco does. When it comes to the University of Central Florida linebacker's lack of a left hand affecting his draft stock, the Chargers general manager said the words Griffin wants to hear.

INDIANAPOLIS - Shaquem Griffin should hope every top NFL personnel executive sees him in the same light as Tom Telesco does. Griffin hasn't let the impediment - the result of a birth defect (Amniotic Band Syndrome) that caused amputation at the age of four - dash his football dreams .

INDIANAPOLIS — Shaquem Griffin should hope every top NFL personnel executive sees him in the same light as Tom Telesco does.

When it comes to the University of Central Florida linebacker’s lack of a left hand affecting his draft stock, the Chargers general manager said the words Griffin wants to hear.

"You wouldn't notice it watching him play," Telesco told me this week at the NFL Scouting Combine. "You just don't."

NFL COMBINE 2018: Updates, results from Indianapolis

Griffin hasn't let the impediment — the result of a birth defect (Amniotic Band Syndrome) that caused amputation at the age of four — dash his football dreams. Griffin excelled the past two seasons for the Knights, including his 62-tackle, 5.5-sack 2017 campaign that helped UCF finish as the only unbeaten FBS team.

One-handed prospect Shaquem Griffin dominates at NFL Scouting Combine

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Watch UCF linebacker Shaquem Griffin 2018 NFL Scouting Combine workout. Watch full games with NFL Game Pass: https The NFL YouTube channel is your home for immediate in-game highlights from your favorite teams and players, full NFL games, behind the scenes access and more!

Former UCF linebacker Shaquem Griffin reacts to benching twenty reps with a prosthetic hand at the NFL combine, adding that him being able to perform at the

"I could have been that kid who can feel all the negativities that were thrown at me,” Griffin told co-host Bill Polian and me earlier this week on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “A lot of coaches and guys were saying that, 'Football wasn't for one-handed players. It’s only for 2-handed players.'

"Instead, I always turn a negative into a positive. I always use a negative as fuel for me to do better. Every time somebody assumed I couldn't do something I made sure that I’d do it — and I’d do it better than they’d ever think I would."

While doing that, the 6-2, 222-pound Griffin became one of the NCAA’s most inspirational players and a role model for youngsters who are dealing with similar physical disabilities. Griffin was recently named the inaugural Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year, an award presented to someone "who has demonstrated a record of leadership by exhibiting exceptional courage, integrity and sportsmanship both on and off the field."

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Shaquem Griffin refuses to let hand amputation dash NFL dream . Small School, Big Dreams . There's a reason for all the hype around University of Texas at San Antonio prospect Marcus Davenport.

UCF linebacker Shaquem Griffin hasn't let living with only one hand stop him from pursuing his athletic dreams . ✔ Visit ESPN on YouTube to get up-to-the-minute sports news coverage, scores, highlights and commentary for NFL , NHL, MLB, NBA, College Football , NCAA Basketball, soccer and

"He’s an outstanding kid," Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said during his Combine news conference. "He’s very exciting to watch on film because he just plays with heart, with passion. He gives you everything he has on every snap."

But as uplifting as Griffin’s journey is, sentimentality only goes so far among NFL decision-makers.

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Teams must be convinced Griffin can tackle effectively and shed blocks at the NFL level as part of the draft evaluation. Those skills won’t be showcased in Combine drills for Griffin, who wasn't initially invited to the event despite his standing as a two-time All American Athletic Conference first-team selection. Griffin only received his Combine slot after an impressive week in late January at the Reese’s Senior Bowl.

"It’s something you’d have to talk to the trainers about and see what his restrictions would be moving forward,” Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said. “Putting players in a position to succeed … that would be a key. Can he do the things we ask him to do?"

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One- handed Shaquem Griffin posts record speed at NFL Combine and stars react with awe at Shaquem Griffin , 22, lost his left hand as a child due to a pre-natal disease But he has impressed at NFL Combine and is likely to be drafted by a team It felt amazing,' Griffin said. And on Sunday, he went a step further, breaking a record for a

Shaquem Griffin becomes the first one- handed player to be drafted by an NFL team after being selected by the Seattle Seahawks. He gained attention at the NFL Combine in March when he ran the quickest 40-yard dash for a linebacker since Shaquem Griffin - the NFL prospect with one hand .

Telesco believes he can.

"He plays with activity and instincts and speed and run-and-hit (skills),” Telesco said. “He's had that (amputation) his whole life. He knows how to compensate for it. I don’t think he even thinks about it. It may be different if the injury happened later in his career where you have to figure out a way around it.”

One thing Telesco admits is NFL teams must figure out the position where Griffin fits best besides being projected as a core special-teams player upon entering the league.

Griffin, who uses a prosthetic to help him complete football strength drills such as the bench press and pull-ups, said different teams have projected him playing in a variety of different roles. He was used as a rush defensive end, outside linebacker and safety by the Texans coaching staff at the Senior Bowl. Griffin added that “if you need me at middle linebacker I can play there, too," because "I can get to the ball sideline to sideline."

"I think that I’m gonna be pretty much good wherever I am," Griffin said.

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Seattle general manager John Schneider allowed that the Seahawks were one of the clubs that will conduct a formal 15-minute interview with Griffin at the Combine. That could increase the odds Shaquem will have the chance to reunite with his twin brother Shaquille, who already is a Seahawks cornerback after leaving Central Florida the previous year.

"That would be one heck of a story, I can tell you that,” Griffin said with a laugh.

To go with the one Shaquem already has written.

"We’ve been able to show that when somebody says you can’t do something, the only person that can stop you is the person that’s looking back in the mirror,” he said. "You’ve got to remember, that’s the only person that can stop you from accomplishing everything you want out of life."

Griffin leads Pistons to 99-83 win over Bulls .
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