American football linebacker Shaquem Griffin joined the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League following the 2018 NFL Draft. Having overcome a congenital defect which had his left hand amputated when he was a kid, Griffin’s historic 2018 drafting made him the first amputee to ever play in the NFL. An awe-inspiring trailblazer, Shaquem Griffin is definitely set to create even more history in the league.
Shaquem Griffin Biography
Shaquem Alphonso Griffin was born in St. Petersburg, Florida on July 20, 1995, about 60 seconds after his identical twin brother Shaquill Griffin. He was born with amniotic band syndrome, a congenital disorder which resulted in the underdevelopment of his left hand/fingers. He eventually underwent an amputation procedure at age 4 after he was rescued by his mother from an attempted self-amputation.
Despite the physical challenge, Shaquem Griffin had a full childhood as he remained an active athlete starting from the tender age of 5. The youngster schooled at Lakewood High School in St. Petersburg, Florida where he lettered in football, baseball, and track. In his senior year, Griffin was the state long jump champion and was also ranked fifth in the nation for the triple jump. For his outstanding performance, he was named the Tampa Bay Track and Field Athlete of the Year alongside his equally spectacular brother, Shaquill.
Just like his exploits in track and field, Shaquem Griffin was also a football star. He earned second-team all-state honors in his senior year having recorded 67 tackles and two interceptions. By the end of his high school stint, he was widely considered a 3-star recruit. Shaquem received college scholarship offers both in football and track & field. He eventually settled for the football scholarship of the University of Central Florida (UCF) alongside his brother.
After featuring in only one game in his first season with the UCF Knights football team, Shaquem Griffin redshirted his freshman season. He made 39 total appearances from his redshirt freshman season to his redshirt senior season compiling 18.5 sacks and 33.5 tackles for a loss. Among other highlights of his college career, Griffin won the 2016 American Athletic Conference (AAC) Defensive Player of the Year Award in his junior season. The talented player led the UFC Knights to a spectacular 13-0 unbeaten run in his senior year and also won the Defensive MVP honors at the 2018 Peach Bowl where the Knights trumped the Auburn Tigers.
On March 29, 2018, Shaquem Griffin received an invitation to the 2018 NFL Draft. He gained a lot of media attention owing to the fact that no one-handed player had ever made it to the NFL. Griffin eventually made history on April 28, 2018, when he was selected in the fifth round by the Seattle Seahawks as the 141st overall pick. The following month, the talented player penned a 4-year deal with the franchise valued at $2.8 million.
His Brother and Family
Just like Shaquem, his twin brother Shaquill Griffin is also an NFL star who plays as a cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks. The two have remained inseparable since birth with Shaquill turning down several college scholarships including one form his dream team so he could remain close to his brother.
They eventually got to play college football together at the University of Central Florida, however, Shaquill turned professional one year earlier than his brother as he joined the Seahawks in the 2017 NFL Draft. Shaquem’s selection by the Seahawks in the 2018 NFL Draft was indeed a dream come true for the twins as they reunite to pursue their life-long passion. The Griffin twins equally have childhood dreams of living next to each other for the rest of their lives.
Shaquem Griffin’s mother Tangie Griffin works as a medical data analyst. His father Terry Griffin worked as a tow truck operator. Thanks to his dad’s ingenuity at the time, Shaquem never felt any disadvantage while growing up. His father constructed several devices which helped his talented son to train adequately for his sports career.
Height, Weight, and Body Measurements
Shaquem Griffin stands at an impressive height of 6 feet (183 cm) and maintains his athletic physique at a body weight of 103 kg (227 lb). His arm length is 32 1⁄8 inches (0.82 m) and his hand size 9 inches (0.23 m). In addition to these physical attributes, Griffin equally has speed and versatility going for him.