The curiosity and interest around former UCF star LB/DB Shaquem Griffin has begun to heat up this weekend at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Griffin, after all, was the American Conference Defensive Player of the Year, and part of the Knights perfect season with a Peach Bowl win over Auburn.
And, all of that notoriety is helping build credibility that he can play at the next level.
Griffin originally wasn’t invited to the Combine, but after he publicized that in January at the Senior Bowl, the NFL reversed course and sent him an invite.
On Friday morning, Griffin took the internet and the “Players Tribune” website to write an open letter to NFL GMs and really any other people concerned or doubting whether he can play in the NFL.
To anyone doubting @Shaquemgriffin…don’t. He’s going to prove you wrong.
Must read in his words ? https://t.co/RJOEEjcy8j
— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) March 2, 2018
It’s a heartfelt honest account about how Griffin, who had his left hand amputated when he was a child, could have given up or quit long ago, but simply refuses to let anyone tell him he cannot play.
UCF’s opponents certainly know that (including Auburn, where he had 1.5 sacks) and anyone else who’s watched, has seen it, too.
It also helps that Griffin’s brother, Shaquill, was drafted last year by the Seattle Seahawks in the third round. It keeps Shaquem’s name out there, and also motivates him that he can follow in his brother’s footsteps and realize his dream of playing pro football.
We particularly like the respectful, let’s call it: “warning,” about not doubting him at the next level that Griffin penned to conclude the article:
“I know there are some scouts and coaches — and even some of you GMs out there — who are probably doubting me, and that’s O.K. I get it. I only have one hand, and because of that, there have always been people who have questioned whether or not I could play this game.
If you’re one of those GMs who believes that I can play in the NFL, I just want to say thank you. I appreciate you, and I’m excited for the opportunity to play for you and prove you right.
And if one you’re of those who is doubting me … well, I want to thank you, too. Because you’re what keeps me motivated every day to work hard and play even harder.
Back when I was eight years old, I played because I loved the game. I still do. But now, I also play because I believe it’s my purpose. I know that it won’t come easy. Nothing comes easy. But I will fulfill that purpose. I have no doubt.”
Some teams have asked for Griffin to not only work out at linebacker this weekend, but safety, as well. He has agreed to do both.
Shaquem Griffin’s dream is only continuing at Lucas Oil Stadium this weekend.
Take his advice. Don’t doubt him.
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