Even though it’s all the way across the country and in the Pacific Northwest, the feel-good story of former UCF star and now Seattle Seahawks rookie Shaquem Griffin continues to gain momentum.
Griffin, who was the American Athletic Conference defensive player of the year last year and helped the UCF Knights go 13-0 and upset Auburn in the Peach Bowl for a perfect season, had already become very easy to root for in the pre-draft process.
This, after the NFL initially did not invite him to their scouting combine, but then reversed course, when public sentiment when his way. Griffin, despite losing his left hand as a small child, wowed everyone at the combine in Indianapolis and became an inspiration.
In a story with USA Today on Wednesday, Nate Davis spent some time recently at Seahawks training camp and and they are raving about Griffin’s work ethic and play:
— Nate Davis (@ByNateDavis) August 8, 2018
Probably the biggest compliment so far is from former Superbowl champion player and current Seahawks defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. Norton told Davis:
“He’s playing surprisingly really good,” Norton Jr. told USA TODAY Sports, clarifying his surprise is a nod to how quickly Griffin has grasped his new assignments.
“I mean, this kid is fast, he’s really smart, he’s really physical, he doesn’t make the same mistake twice, and he shows up every day. He’s for real. We understand that he’s missing a hand — and everybody focuses on that note — but he’s a real football player.
“He’s a joy to coach.”
Of course, it also helps the Seahawks drafted his twin brother, Shaquill Griffin, to play defensive back a year ago. There’s no question it’s helped him get acclimated.
Seattle opens their preseason on Thursday night hosting Indianapolis.
And, make no mistake. Shaquem Griffin has got potential to help the Seahawks in spots and on special teams, and probably soon this season.
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