Shaquem Griffin, the one-handed linebacker out of Central Florida, became one of the best NFL draft stories off all time on Saturday.
Not only did the speedy linebacker overcome the adversity of being born with amniotic band syndrome, which led to him missing a left hand at birth, but he was also drafted by the Seattle Seahawks, which will reunite him with his twin brother, Shaquill.
"I couldn't breathe I didn't know what to say I was trying to get the words out but I couldn't talk," Shaquem told ESPN. "It was tough, I'm not going to lie to you. Seeing all those guys picked in front of me and just falling back [in the draft] and knowing that I did everything I was supposed to do. It was in God's hands and I'd wait all over again for the opportunity to play with my brother and for everyone who picked in front of me and everybody who doubted me, they're going to feel who I am."
Shaquem's brother, Shaquill, who turned down bigger college offers so he could play with his brother at Central Florida, was drafted in the third round by the Seahawks last season. He had 59 tackles and one sack in his rookie season playing cornerback for Seattle.
"A lot of people don't understand what we went through. You hear stories and get a summary but it's so much more. To see your dream come true and come true the way it did today, to get a chance to play with each other today, it means the world to me. … I don't think I cried on my draft day but I just couldn't hold it today."
Shaquem became a household name when he ran a 4.38 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine and then did 20 reps on the bench press with a prosthetic hand. Surprisingly enough, he was a late invitation to the scouting combine.
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