Shaquem Griffin was born in 1995 in St. Petersburg, Florida. He was born less than two minutes after his brother Shaquill. The brothers grew up to be very close, but there was one major difference. Shaquem had to get his hand amputated at the age of four because he was born with amniotic band syndrome, which is a congenital disorder caused by strands of the amniotic sac that separate and entangle digits, limbs, or other parts of the fetus.Ever since then Shaquem Griffin has been seen as different, but it is his difference that makes him extraordinary. It is his unique difference that motivated him to work harder, to be faster, and to be stronger.
When Shaquem and Shaquill were old enough, they both received scholarships from the University of Central Florida to play football; they both accepted. Together, they would go on to play together. What they didn't know at the time was that this would not be the last time they would play together.
After not having much luck at the safety position in 2015, Shaquem changed position to outside linebacker for the 2016 season. He found where he belonged. In 2016, Shaquem recorded the most sacks in the American Athletic Conference(11.0), and he finished the season ranked 10th in all of the NCAA for sacks. Also in 2016, he averaged 7 tackles a game. He went on to receive the AAC Defensive Player of the Year Award, and his brother was named to the All-AAC second team. After the 2016 season, Shaquill decided to enter the draft where he was picked at in the third round(90th) by the Seattle Sehawks.
Shaquem decided to stay another year at UCF since his first year there he was a redshirt freshman. By staying another year, he would prove himself in the college football community. His performance in the Peach Bowl against Auburn solidified his ability. In this particular game, against a team many thought would beat the undefeated Knights, Shaquem Griffin has 12 tackles and 1.5 sacks.
Shaquem Griffin future plans did not stop at the Peach Bowl, he continued to work, and he was eventually invited to the NFL combine. Here, he showed what he was capable of. Flash forward to April 28th, Day 3 of the NFL Draft, and all that hard work would pay off. Shaquem Griffin wanted a call that day, but he did not expect to be drafted by the same team that his best friend, and brother, played for. With the 141st pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks selected Shaquem Griffin. Shaquem Griffin does not want to for overcoming his disability though, he wants people to see that everything he ever got in life, he received through hard work and dedication. In an interview with ESPN, Shaquem states "I can make a change in the world, but I am not just some feel-good story. I work my butt off for everything I want in life, and it's not going to stop here."
Now that Shaquem is reuniting with his best friend and brother in Seattle, there is no telling what he has in store for the NFL.