No former collegiate player has been more inspirational in the 2018 NFL Combine than the University of Central Florida’s Shaquem Griffin.

Playing with one hand his entire career, Griffin’s story has resonated with all of those throughout his days with the Knights, and his performance in the combine at Indianapolis begs the question: Can NFL ignore his talents any longer?

After initially not receiving an invite by the NFL to the scouting combine, Griffin has done nothing more but impress every scout laying eyes on him. Griffin started off with an extremely impressive showing in the bench press, lifting up 225 pounds 20 times with a prosthetic arm.

According to NFL Research, notable players who did not reach 20 bench press reps at the Combine was defensive standouts like Calais CampbellJared AllenJamie CollinsHarrison Smith and Jason Pierre-Paul.

To follow up what was a beyond exceptional performance in the bench press event, Griffin ran the fastest time ever recorded by a linebacker at the NFL Combine. The UCF linebacker, who recorded seven sacks this past season, ran a wowing 4.38.

Griffin, who was named a second-team All-American in 2017 and the American Athletic Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year for 2016, cannot be overlooked any further. The evidence lays plain as day for NFL scouts, general managers and coaches to take a chance on someone who is much more than just a good story.

UCF’s top defensive talent from the Peach Bowl winning Knights had continued to prove doubters wrong ever since he was four years old, when he had the procedure done on his left hand. All Griffin continues to do is make believers out of anyone who don’t think he can play with only one hand.

The NFL Combine became just another steppingstone for Griffin in what is increasingly becoming a shot at playing at the highest professional level.

About The Author

Andy Villamarzo has covered high school and youth sports for the Tampa Bay Times and The Tampa Tribune as a correspondent since 2008. He is a native of Holiday, FL, who graduated from Gulf High School and studied at St. Petersburg College. He has covered various prep, collegiate and professional athletes throughout his writing career, including Josh Johnson (Jacksonville Jaguars), Patrick Schuster (Arizona Diamondbacks) and currently writes for other publications like The Suncoast News, Friday Night Football Magazine and TopDrawerSoccer.com.

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