The NFL is a cut-throat league. Many kids dream of making it to the pros, but only baseball had more than 2% of college athletes make it to the next level according to Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg News. College scouts see a 6’1”, 227 lb. linebacker from a Division I school trying to get into the NFL, it’s just like every other prospect. But that’s not the case for UCF’s Shaquem Griffin, he’s trying to make history.
Griffin is looking to become the first one-handed player in the NFL, and this past Saturday he became a step closer to that. The NFL scouting combine takes place in the offseason every year, it’s where college athletes can go and show off their skills in front of coaches and GM’s and it can drastically affect their draft stock. One of the highly viewed events of the combine is the bench press.
There were questions as to whether Griffin could compete in the bench press with only one hand, or how many reps he could get on the 225 lb. bar. He did 20. “My goal was six, I think I beat that by a lot. Just being able to do that, it was amazing. Hearing the crowd and having the juices flowing, I mean, I felt it.” Griffin also showed out on the second day of the combine, posting the fastest 40 yard dash from a linebacker since 2003.
In college, Griffin was a two year starter and earned two selections to the AAC (All-American Athletic Conference) first team. Along with being named AAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2016. While it’s unknown where of if he’ll get drafted, it’s impossible to not hope Shaquem Griffin breaks down a barrier and reaches his goals.