(Indianapolis, IN) – His twin brother already plays for the Seattle Seahawks and after an impressive workout during the NFL scouting combine Shaquem Griffin could be right behind him. NO brainer right? Not when you consider that Shaquem only has one hand.
Griffin was 4-years old when doctors amputated his left hand a day after his mother found him in the kitchen attempting to cut off his jelly-like fingers, which were in scorching pain whenever he touched anything, the result of amniotic band syndrome, a congenital birth defect. However, despite having just one hand, he kept up with his twin brother on and off the field.
From the playground to UCF to the NFL, Shaquem is proving why he deserves to be suited up and running on the field once again with his brother in the Pros. His 20-Rep Bench Press put him in the something like a phenomenon category.
The bench press room at the NFL scouting combine is one of the most exciting places to be. At the end of the day it is a true test of strength gripping the crossbar and pumping 225 pounds of free weights. The crowd normally participates in the counts and as the repetitions roll everyone wonders just how many one will compete.
Shaquem a few years ago, really couldn’t bench press at all. He couldn’t even lift the 45-pound bar. But after being fitted with a prosthetic hand, he was all good. His mother recall crying when she saw him do his first pull-up.
His personal best is 11 reps but his mark for the combine was much less than that. “My goal was six,” Griffin says.
As the AP reports, Griffin clipped his prosthetic hand onto the bar, then leaned back. This wasn’t his brother spotting him – the one who he was sure used to surreptitiously help him – but this new spotter was hyping him up and the crowd joined in as did his fellow linebacker prospects.”Everybody in the stands was hyping me up. I got the guys I’m here with hyping me up. It felt amazing,” Griffin said. ”I was ready to go. I was ready to attack it.”
His chest heaved. And the counting began.One, two, three.”I said, this thing feels like 135. Let’s go!” Griffin recounted.”And I just started cranking them out.”
Four, five, six.That was easy.Seven, eight, nine.The crowd was hollering by now.Ten, 11 – this was his personal best.Twelve.A new high.Thirteen … 14 … 15 … 16.The crowd was roaring in disbelief. Seventeen.Can this really be happening? Eighteen!That’s one more than his twin brother, Shaquille, managed at last year’s combine before the Seattle Seahawks selected the speedy cornerback in the third round of the NFL draft.
Nineteen! One more … 20!
Impressive by any standard but with one hand, he’s almost super natural. ”I got chill bumps watching him do 20 reps,” said NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock. ”I literally choked up a little bit watching him do that and I can’t wait to watch him tomorrow.”
Tomorrow meaning today. Griffin will run the 40-yard dash, do some quickness drills and some on-field testing at Lucas Oil Stadium. He told reporters that he’s also going to try to join the defensive back drills Today after doing his work with the linebackers. Griffin played D-line, linebacker and safety at the the Senior Bowl.
As dozens of reporters and photographers surrounded him, ”I thought I was going to walk over here and it was going to be like three people.”
Get used to it Shaquem! Not only are you an inspiration but you are a force to be reckoned with. We’ll see you in the Pros!