American football linebacker Shaquem Griffin joined the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League after the 2018 NFL Draft. After overcoming a congenital defect that caused his left hand to be amputated as a child, Griffin was the first amputee ever to play in the NFL after the historic 2018 draft. Shaquem Griffin is an awe-inspiring innovator and is sure to make even more history in the league.
Shaquem Griffin Biography
Shaquem Alphonso Griffin was born on July 20, 1995, in St. Petersburg, Florida, about 60 seconds after his identical twin brother Shaquill Griffin. He was born with amniotic band syndrome, a congenital disorder that led to the underdevelopment of his left hand/finger. He finally underwent an amputation procedure at the age of 4 years after being saved by his mother from a self-amputation attempt.
Despite the physical challenge, Shaquem Griffin had a full childhood as he remained an active athlete from the tender age of 5 years. The young man attended Lakewood High School in St. Petersburg, Florida, where he was taught football, baseball, and athletics. In his senior year, Griffin became a national champion in the long jump and finished fifth in the nation in the triple jump. For his outstanding achievements, he was named Athlete of the Year in Tampa Bay along with his equally spectacular brother Shaquill.
Just like his exploits in athletics, Shaquem Griffin was also a football star. In his last year on the senior national team, he was awarded 67 tackles and two interceptions. By the end of his high school days, he was widely regarded as a 3-star recruit. Shaquem received college scholarships in both football and athletics. Eventually, he and his brother decided to join the University of Central Florida (UCF) soccer scholarship program.
After playing only one game in his first season with the UCF Knights soccer team, Shaquem Griffin finished his first season as a rookie. From his first season in the red jersey to his last, he played a total of 39 games, assembling 18.5 sacks and 33.5 tackles for a defeat. 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 win without defeat in his senior team and also won the Defensive MVP award at the 2018 Peach Bowl, where the Knights outdid the Auburn Tigers.
On March 29, 2018, Shaquem Griffin received an invitation to play in the 2018 NFL Draft, which attracted a great deal of media attention as no one-handed player had ever made it to the NFL. Griffin finally made history on April 28, 2018, when he was named 141st in the fifth round of the Seattle Seahawks. The following month, the talented player signed a four-year contract with the franchise worth $2.8 million.
His Brother and Family
Like Shaquem, his twin brother Shaquill Griffin is an NFL star who plays cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks. The two have been inseparable since birth, with Shaquill turning down several college scholarships, including one from his dream team, so he could stay close to his brother.
They eventually played college football together at the University of Central Florida, but Shaquill turned pro a year earlier than his brother when he joined the Seahawks in the 2017 NFL Draft. Shaquem’s selection by the Seahawks in the 2018 NFL Draft was, in fact, the fulfillment of a dream for the twins, who are joining forces to pursue their lifelong passion. The Griffin twins also have the childhood dream of living side by side 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 driver. Thanks to the ingenuity of his father at the time, Shaquem never felt disadvantaged during his childhood. His father designed several devices that helped his talented son train appropriately for his sports career.
Height, Weight, and Body Measurements
Shaquem Griffin stands at an impressive height of 183 cm (6 feet) and maintains his athletic build with a bodyweight of 103 kg (227 lb). His arm length is 32 1/8 inches (0.82 m) and his hand size is 9 inches (0.23 m). In addition to these physical characteristics, Griffin is characterized by his speed and versatility.