Shaquem Griffin becomes first one-handed player drafted in NFL

One-handed linebacker arrives at draft with message for NFL

The University of Central Florida standout was selected in the fifth round of the NFL Draft and will now join twin brother, Shaquill, on the Seattle Seahawks.

Griffin, who had his hand amputated at age 4 but was never prevented from playing sports, put on a spectacular performance at the scouting combine in early March, running a 4.38 in the 40-yard dash and posting 20 reps in the bench press. If that were true, the coaching staff were soon pleasantly surprised: The linebacker was named American Athletic Conference defensive player of the year in 2016.

Griffin was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the fifth round Saturday.

His proud sibling, who was selected by the Seahawks in the third round previous year, said he did not cry on his own draft day but when he heard about Shaquem's success he was unable to hold back the tears.

With the selection, Seattle reunited Shaquem Griffin with his twin brother, Shaquill.

"One day I'm going to be called "Shaquem Griffin the football player" and not 'Shaquem Griffin the one-hand wonder, '" he told the outlet.

"But I wasn't too anxious about where I was going or when I was going", he added.

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And perhaps in proper fashion, it unfolded in front of the die-hard fans who - like Griffin - stuck it out into the draft's less-hyped final day of picks.

The Seahawks envision him contributing as a pass-rushing outside linebacker and on special teams.

"And they continued throughout this whole process to let me know how much they loved my brother, how much they loved my family ..."

Shaquill urged the Seahawks to take his brother.

So I anxious I felt too strongly about Shaquem to have an objective view of his value as a potential draft pick.

'If I can get to a practice, that's when everyone is going to see who I really am. I knew I wasn't going to be a first-round pick or anything like that. "The ball carriers will be faster and stronger than those at the college level, requiring the defensive players to have good technique to bring them to the ground and end the play".

Using a prosthetic on his left arm he bench pressed over 100kg 20 times as National Football League hopefuls were put through their paces by team representatives in March. "It's been a long road coming, but I'm glad I had the opportunity to be here".

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