This Football Player Drafted By The Seahawks Is Already Making NFL History

"I'm going to keep proving people wrong."

University of Central Florida linebacker Shaquem Griffin was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday, joining his twin brother Shaquill, a cornerback for the team. But there's something else notable (and historic) about the pick. People reports that Shaquem is the first player with one hand to be drafted by the NFL.


According to ESPN, Shaquem had his left hand amputated when he was 4 years old due to a congenital condition called amniotic band syndrome. The player said he "couldn't breathe" and "didn't know what to say" when he got the call letting him know he'd been chosen. Video of the emotional moment shows him celebrating with his family, including his brother.

"I don't even like hearing words like (handicapped),'' Shaquem told Today. "Because if you got a disability or a handicap, that means you're limited to certain things. And I don't feel like I'm limited to nothing. I can do anything anybody else can do."

In fact, he can do even more. The 22-year-old was reportedly the fastest linebacker ever recorded at the NFL combine in Indianapolis, running the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds. He also used a prosthetic hand to bench press 20 repetitions of 225 pounds, which was almost double his personal best.

Shaquem told Today he doesn't want to be known for having one hand. "I'm gonna put all that to rest. I'm gonna be called Shaquem Griffin the football player, not Shaquem Griffin the one-hand wonder," he said.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told ESPN that Shaquem's interview at the combine was "inspirational," adding, "He was just so expressive and so open to tell his story and to tell what this opportunity meant to him in such a way that he moved us, just like those of you that have watched him. He's an extraordinary young man."

Shaquem told ESPN this is "just the beginning" for him. "And I'm going to keep proving people wrong because I have a lot of people to prove wrong, a lot of doubters," he added.

He has since received endorsement deals from such companies as Nike and Bose. As NBC Sports points out, this is rare for a fifth-round pick. Over the weekend, the linebacker posted a photo of himself holding a pair of Bose headphones and wearing a Seahawks cap. "Thank you to everyone who has helped push me, motivate me and support me," he wrote. "Most importantly, thank you Seahawks."


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