Shaquem griffin, the one-handed linebacker, turns heads running a 4.38 40-yard dash at the nfl scouting combine – philly database link

“I won’t be able to answer the phone and be like, ‘yeah, all right, coach. I got you.’ I might start crying. I might drop the phone or have to give it to my mom and she’ll have to answer all the questions for me. I’m not going to be able to even speak.’’

If you already know griffin’s backstory, you understand why the central florida linebacker expects to be a little verklempt when he gets the call telling him to report for NFL duty.

Griffin doesn’t have a left hand. A rare prenatal condition prevented the fingers on the hand from fully developing. He had the hand amputated when he was 4.

He got a lot of people verklempt saturday when, with the aid of a prosthesis on his left arm, he did 20 reps in the 225-pound bench press at the combine.Going able

the crowd watching him, which included a number of grizzled NFL scouts and personnel folks, went absolutely bananas.

Since he was a kid, people have been looking at the stub on the end of griffin’s left arm and seeing what he can’t do rather than what he can.

When he was 8 years old, a coach for an opposing youth league football team unsuccessfully tried to keep him out of an important game because of his disability. Claimed somebody with one hand couldn’t play football. Griffin not only played in the game, but had the game-clinching interception.

When he finally got an opportunity to play two years ago, shaquem had 11½ sacks and was named the american athletic conference’s defensive player of the year.Higher standard last year, he was a first-team all-conference selection after registering seven more sacks and 13½ tackles for losses, and helping lead the knights to a 13-0 record and a no. 6 national ranking.

The 6-2, 227-pound griffin played a hybrid role in the knights’ defense, lining up all over the place. He covered tight ends and slot receivers. He blitzed. At the senior bowl workouts, he played linebacker, safety and defensive line. He is fast and athletic and instinctive.

“I talked to a few teams and they didn’t think I was going to be able to get much bigger than 227,’’ griffin said. “I’m getting a better feel [that teams see me] as a WILL [weakside] or SAM [strongside] linebacker, or in a stack, or in a 3-4 where I can be that guy at the line of scrimmage, or be a guy who moves around.Most life

“I’ve had some teams tell me I move like a DB. Well, I’ve been a DB most of my life. I still have the feet for it. I want them to know that I don’t have to be the guy who just rushes the quarterback. [if] you need somebody to cover, I can cover not just tight ends, but slots, too. I’ve got a few interceptions against some slots. I want to show NFL teams that whatever they need help at, I’m the guy.’’

NFL personnel people are saying a lot of nice things about griffin right now. But the truth is, most of them look at him the same way people have looked at him most of his life: as a guy with one hand.

“A lot of people see somebody who has one hand instead of two and they think it’s different or doesn’t make sense,’’ he said.Most life “they say, ‘oh, he has one hand; how can he play football?’

“at the end of the day, you have to show what you can do. You can’t set limits on what you can do, whether you have one hand, two hands or 30 hands. Show me what you can do and we’ll go from there.

“so, don’t set limits for me. Because when I wake up in the morning and I brush my teeth and look at myself in the mirror, it’s only me that I see in the mirror. It’s not anybody else. When I look in the mirror, it’s up to me to accomplish what I want out of life.’’

Like his brother, griffin has second-day talent (second or third round). But he likely won’t get drafted until day 3, probably in the fifth, sixth or seventh round.Griffin said because while he doesn’t set limits on himself, others do.

“I came here [to the combine] to check every box on the list of things people say I can’t do,’’ griffin said. “I always hold myself to a higher standard because, if we’re doing drills and I drop a ball, it’s, ‘he dropped the ball because he has one hand.’

“anyone else drops it, it’s, ‘well, maybe it was a bad ball.’ there are always going to be more questions. Anything that I can do, I’ve got to hold myself to a higher standard because it’s just that important to everybody. On each and every level, I have to prove everybody wrong.’’