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Shaquem Griffin rocks the NFL Combine

Linebacker Shaquem Griffin posted a time of 4.38 in the 40-yard dash, the fastest time for a linebacker in the combine since 2003.

(Darron Cummings/AP)

Linebacker Shaquem Griffin posted a time of 4.38 in the 40-yard dash, the fastest time for a linebacker in the combine since 2003.

Erik Hultgren, News Reporter

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Super Bowl LII was more than a month ago. The college football national championship game was even further back on the calendar. The 2018-2019 NFL season won’t begin for another six whole months when it kicks off on September sixth in Philadelphia.
Late winter can be a particularly boring time of the year, and for fans of American football that statement rings particularly true. Little is expected to happen in the world of football until April 26, when the league’s annual draft is scheduled to take place.
This year however, on March 5th, something big happened. e
Every year the NFL hosts a combine featuring the top prospects for that years upcoming draft. Players run sprints, lift weights, and are interviewed by teams that are considering drafting them in the spring.
As there are every year, there were several impressive showings at the 2018 combine, but no prospect shone brighter than the former University of Central Florida linebacker Shaquem Griffin.
Going into the combine, Griffin was already viewed as a top prospect. He had an impressive senior year at UCF that ended on a high note when he was named the 2018 Peach Bowl Defensive MVP.
Griffin is a supremely talented football player, but to make it to the NFL combine, one would have to be. So what is it that makes him stand out from every other college stud turned NFL hopeful? Griffin has managed to not only make it as far as he has, but thrive in a contact sport while only having one hand.
While a fetus, Griffin suffered amniotic band syndrome, a condition in which the amniotic layer tears and results in strands then entangling the fetus. This resulted in the blood supply to his left hand being cut off, and at the age of four he had to have it amputated due to the unbearable pain that it was causing.
Despite this disadvantage, Griffin stole the show at the combine by putting up downright nasty numbers.
He ran a ridiculous 4.38 second 40-yard dash which was the fastest time by a linebacker since 2003. Then, while using a prosthetic hand, Griffin proceeded to steal the show at the combine by bench pressing 225 pounds for an amazing 20 reps. Griffin’s previous personal high was 11 reps, and to the cheers of many other athletes and analysts he blew that number out of the water.
Despite having only one hand Griffin benched more than all but ten linebackers, who excluding one all weighed more than him. Griffin put on a show for those watching him, and overcame the odds to prove that he is one of the fastest and strongest pound-for-pound prospects entering the draft.
Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller has Griffin coming off of the board as the 132nd pick out of 256 in the draft to the Philadelphia Eagles. This would make Griffin the first player in the history of the NFL to play with only one hand.
Throughout his life Griffin has had to beat the odds several times to achieve his dream of making it to the NFL, and this April all his hard work is set to pay off.
March is usually not a very exciting time of the year for football fans, but Shaquem Griffin has given fans someone to cheer for.

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Shaquem Griffin rocks the NFL Combine