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Sport Shaquem Griffin shows his heart is off the charts at NFL scouting combine

06:11  05 march  2018
06:11  05 march  2018 Source:   usatoday.com

Report: Josh McDaniels will not be in Indianapolis for Scouting Combine

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Shaquem Griffin is not out to be the NFL draft's feel-good story after a stellar scouting combine performance. Maybe nobody else at the NFL ’s scouting combine saw it coming quite like this, but Griffin knew. The Central Florida product blazed to a 4.38-second clocking that was the best among

Shaquem Griffin made his case that he can with an electrifying performance before scouts and coaches at the NFL Scouting Combine . Yet somehow, it’s pretty much a given that Griffin is off the charts when it comes to the heart department. What some may view as a disability or limitation.

Video by NFL

One-handed prospect Shaquem Griffin dominates at NFL Scouting Combine

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Take a look at all the best highlights from one-handed UCF linebacker Shaquem Griffin , who stood out for the Knights and was a breakout star at the NFL combine .

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INDIANAPOLIS — Shaquem Griffin knew he could blow it up. Maybe nobody else at the NFL’s scouting combine saw it coming quite like this, but Griffin knew. The Central Florida product blazed to a 4.38-second clocking that was the best among linebackers in the 40-yard dash on Sunday — a day after Griffin, with one hand and a prosthetic device, put up 20 reps in the 225-pound bench press.

Talk about winning the weekend.

Griffin was that guy, and if you haven’t heard his story you need to. Born with a birth defect, his left hand was amputated when he was four years old. Throughout his life, people told him — or didn’t have the nerve to tell him — what they thought he couldn’t or shouldn’t do.

Someone said he shouldn’t play youth football like his twin brother, Shaquill (now a Seattle Seahawks cornerback). And for his first two years at Central Florida he barely saw any action, red-shirted the first year and buried on the bench the next, but explanations for were far and few between.

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Shaquem Griffin had impressive showings in drills at the NFL Combine . Griffin is a linebacker from UCF and has one hand.

Shaquem Griffin , who lost his left hand at the age of 4 because of a rare pre-birth condition, was a notable omission on the combine ’s original list of attendees. He was a star at Central Florida, where he was the Peach Bowl Defensive MVP against Auburn to cap the Knights’ undefeated season.

Shoot, Griffin (6-2, 185) emerged as a spark plug for the only major college team to finish 13-0 last season and two seasons ago was Defensive Player of the Year in the American Athletic Conference, but he still wasn’t even invited to the combine until after the Senior Bowl — which is essentially last-minute stuff on the calendar for the pre-draft process.

And look at him now. Shining. The man you can’t but help to root for as he pursues his dream career.

“So many people are going to have doubts about what I can do, and it started at the bench press,” Griffin said. “Some people didn’t think I could do three…didn’t think I could do five. I went and competed with everybody else.

“There will be a lot more doubters, saying what I can’t do. I think I’m ready to prove them wrong.”

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Shaquem Griffin refuses to let hand amputation dash NFL dream

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The NFL combine , in which college players show off their skills to scouts and coaches, is usually dominated by athletes who have been tipped for greatness for years. This year’s star is a little different. When Shaquem Griffin was a child, his left hand was amputated due to a pre-natal condition.

The most intriguing story of this year’s NFL draft ended in tears of joy as Shaquem Griffin , whose hand was amputated when he was a child, joined his twin brother Shaquill at the Seattle Seahawks.

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As he spoke to reporters from a podium for about 15 minutes on Saturday, Griffin was a ball of passion and energy. He grinned and laughed — even at himself when he predicted that when he receives a call from a team during the draft telling him that he’s been selected, he’ll be too emotional to speak — yet also conveyed a serious perspective that tells all of us something about life and the expectations that we place on ourselves and intentional or not, the expectations we have of others.

Griffin does not want your pity. What’s just as evident, though, with his combine performances on top of what the experts conclude about his skill on the field, is that he is not out to be the feel-good story of the NFL draft. Sure, he may be just that. But that theme also diminishes what he is in the football scheme of things. A legitimate prospect

As Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome put it, “He has good tape.”

As in videotape showing a defender so versatile, that he could play linebacker or defensive back, or a combination, in the NFL. In college, he played defensive end, too.

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Linebacker Shaquem Griffin has shown that even though he may only have one hand, it's determination that matters most. The University of Central Florida star, who had his left hand amputated when he was 4, wowed scouts at the NFL scouting combine last month with his strength

UCF alumnus Shaquem Griffin one-upped himself Sunday by running a blazing 40-yard dash in You think 20 reps on the bench press with a prosthetic arm stole the show Saturday at the NFL Griffin said a little brotherly challenge may have been the needed fuel to push him to his record-breaking time.

“You need a kicker or a punter?” Griffin asked. “All I need to do is get a good stretch in, and I feel I can kick the ball, too.”

That’s the type of spirit you’ll get with a lot of prospects trying to land in the NFL. Yet in Griffin’s case, he realizes that even while he’s out to prove that he’s a legitimate player, there’s a greater purpose.

That’s why, in addition to his combine performances, he published an open letter to GMs and coaches on The Player’s Tribune that allowed him to express himself about the twists on his journey and declare the added dimension that he represents with his purpose to inspire others.

With that, it seems vital for Griffin to, fair or not, judge himself to a higher standard.

“If we’re doing drills and I drop a ball, it’s, ‘He dropped the ball because he has one hand,’ “ Griffin said. “If anyone else drops the ball, they’re like, ‘It was a bad ball. Maybe he’s not that guy who can catch that well.’ There’s always going to be more questions with everything I do.”

Measuring heart has always been such a tricky X-factor when it comes to evaluating talent. There’s no clock, no scale or tape measure to account for it. Yet somehow, it’s pretty much a given that Griffin is off the charts when it comes to the heart department.

What some may view as a disability or limitation, Griffin has used as a positive current.

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Shaquem Griffin took full advantage of the chance to impress NFL scouts at the Reese's Senior Bowl last week, and now the UCF There was speculation that Griffin would not be invited to the combine when he said last week at the Senior Bowl that he had yet to receive an invitation, which sparked an

The NFL Scouting Combine is a week-long showcase occurring every February at Lucas Oil Stadium (and formerly at the RCA Dome until 2008) in Indianapolis, where college football players perform physical and mental tests in front of National Football League coaches, general managers

“That started with me at a young age,” he said. “I didn’t have to wait until I was in high school or college for me to have tough skin about questions always getting asked about me. Because that started when I first started playing football. So I was able to learn from there.”

And now he’s teaching so many others.

Follow USA TODAY Sports' Jarrett Bell on Twitter @JarrettBell.

Names, Numbers and Notes That Stood Out From the 2018 NFL Combine .
The NFL combine is over, but not before it spotlighted one of the best feel-good stories we’ve seen in sports in a long time; a crew of Freaky Nittany Lions and some nimble giants whose draft stock is on the rise. But before we get into that, the hottest topic in football in Indy was a polarizing group of potential first-round quarterbacks. The NFL combine is over, but not before it spotlighted one of the best feel-good stories we’ve seen in sports in a long time; a crew of Freaky Nittany Lions and some nimble giants whose draft stock is on the rise. But before we get into that, the hottest topic in football in Indy was a polarizing group of potential first-round quarterbacks.

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