NFL player Shaquem Griffin has an incredible story that details his journey from a disabled child to an American football juggernaut. He faced many struggles along the way, but he achieved his dream of becoming a professional football player through hard work and determination to defy the odds. Griffin’s story serves as a model example of how anyone can fulfill their ambitions if they possess the drive and the tenacity.
Shaquem Griffin was born with an amniotic band constriction of his left hand, resulting in said hand not fully developing. When Griffin was four years old, he attempted to amputate his fingers with a butcher’s knife because of the pain he received from his disorder. His mother stopped him from doing so and arranged for her son to receive a professional amputation of his left hand. Together with his twin brother Shaquill, Griffin competed in sports, and the two of them eventually received athletic scholarships to play football at the University of Central Florida.
It was here that the brothers came to prominence. Shaquill played cornerback and Shaquem played linebacker for the UCF Knights, making themselves known to the professional realm. Despite having an amputated left hand, Shaquem established himself as an elite player with his instincts and surprising tackling ability. This was elevated by his passion for the game itself.
Shaquem played an additional season due to redshirting his freshman year, leading to Shaquill entering the 2017 NFL Draft and being drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the third round, 90th overall. Shaquem stayed at UCF for his senior year and helped the Knights to an undefeated 13-0 season, capped with a Peach Bowl victory. He finished his college career with 17 sacks and 30 tackles for loss.
Eventually, Shaquem received an invite to the 2018 NFL Combine, where players coming out of college show their skills to NFL coaches and general managers in preparation for the NFL. Shaquem had an impressive showing at the combine and was poised to be drafted.
Shaquem eventually saw his dream come true when he received a phone call from Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll, informing him that they would select him with the 141st overall pick in the fifth round of the draft. He will be reunited with his brother during the 2018 NFL season, and the twins will play football together once again. Shaquem Griffin defied the odds of having a major disorder and surged to the world of professional football with sheer will and determination.
The story of Shaquem Griffin is undoubtedly inspiring, and it shows that anyone can achieve their goals in life, even if they have a disability. Of course, there are some health disorders that can prevent you from doing the simplest things. Disabilities like down syndrome and autism may require you to have a caretaker for the rest of your life, which is unfortunate. However, the point of this is to never give up living your life as long as you are able to do something with it.