What already was the feel-good story of the National Football League draft got an even better storybook ending on Saturday when the Central Florida star linebacker whose left hand was amputated when he was child was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the fifth round.
He gained attention at the NFL Combine in March when he ran the quickest 40-yard dash for a linebacker since 2003. He went on to garner many accolades during his college years at the University of Central Florida, including the All-American Athletic Conference's Defensive Player of the Year award in 2016, and the Peach Bowl's defensive MVP award.
The brothers have played together at every level of football, from Lakewood High School in Florida to starring at UCF, and now they'll become just the fourth set of twins to play for the same NFL team. Shaquill Griffin, who started 11 games at cornerback for the Seahawks this past season, was a third-round selection a year ago, the No 90 overall pick.
Griffin waited during the first two days of the draft in the green room of AT&T Stadium's backdrop while player after player had their names announced. "My partner here was kind of a mess, to tell you the truth, when he handed me the phone".
The Seahawks envision Griffin contributing as a pass-rushing outside linebacker and on special teams.
"Everybody thinks it is a sentimental story, but Shaquem Griffin doesn't think like that", Griffin said. Shaquill has long lobbied for the Seahawks to select his brother and obviously couldn't contain his excitement. "He is as fast as you can get as a linebacker", Carroll said.
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Shaquem will become the team's weakside linebacker.
So I anxious I felt too strongly about Shaquem to have an objective view of his value as a potential draft pick.
So I stopped short of rooting for the Seahawks to draft Shaquill's twin brother right up until the very moment the Seahawks picked him. "A lot of anxiety these few days, but I am ready to get up there and go to work and start something great". It's not like I know the family or anything.
The 22-year-old's story blew up after he put on an astonishing combine workout, blazing to a 4.38 forty time and pushing a remarkable 20 reps on the bench press despite having to use a prosthetic just to participate in the event.
"I am looking for rookie of the year, I am ready to see him", Potter said.
"I tell you, it's wonderful".