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Griffin Twins appeared on “Today” show to promote new book

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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The inspirational story of former UCF football stars turned Seattle Seahawks, the Griffin twins, has now been made into a book. And, on Monday morning the brothers were on the legendary “Today’ show to promote it.

Shaquem Griffin, who has become the first player in NFL history to play without a part of his arm or hand was on set in New York with his brother Shaquill. And they came to talk about how their football story has evolved from the Gridiron of Central Florida to one of the best football franchises in the Pacific Northwest and their new book “Inseparable:”

We have written previously about Shaquem Griffin overcoming the amputation of his left hand at an early age but not allowing them from stopping him from chasing his dream to one day play in the NFL. Shaquem Griffin ended up being the American Conference Defensive Player of the Year during UCF perfect 13 – 0 season of 2017. And then, he realized the dream being drafted in 2018 by the team that had also drafted his brother Shaquill as a defensive back the year before, the Seahawks.

Shaquem Griffin worked his way up the depth chart during his first training camp, and due to injuries to veterans actually started at linebacker in the opening game against the Denver Broncos last season. Griffin was sparingly used as the year went on at linebacker, but was active for every game primarily as a special teams player.

As the brothers told “Today” anchor Craig Melvin, they do almost everything together on and off the field. However, it was challenging two years ago for Shaquill’s rookie season in Seattle, as they were more than 3,000 miles apart.

Near the end of the interview Melvin asked about whether Shaquem hopes to get to the point soon that the amputation of his hand is no longer the story. Rather, it’s simply whether or not he’s good enough as a football player or how the Seahawks are doing that becomes the common topic of conversation?

“In do time it will come. I just got to keep doing what I’m doing. I got to keep motivating people. I got to keep playing ball. Keep making plays. One day it’s going to say, ‘Shaquem Griffin, the football player.’ But until then? I’m going to be whoever they want me to be.”

“Inseperable” is out in stores and on Amazon here.

UCF Knights

UCF showed why they are top team in latest power rankings

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Another week has come and gone in the 2019 football season. In the state of Florida, it was another rough week for two of the NFL teams with the Fins and Jags both loosing again. While the Bucs were able to land an impressive division road win, UCF continued to roll, the Hurricanes got a victory, and the Gators pulled a out a late one, but lost a key player.

At the same time, FSU had yet another late-game collapse and USF did what they were supposed to do with an easy opponent. With all of that said lets breakdown the top teams in the state this week:

UCF Knights- The Knights just keep on “charging on.” Every time a team enters the “Bounce House,” they proceed to get bounced right on out of Orlando.

Freshman QB Dillon Gabriel is off to a hot start taking home a couple of national accolades last week. The Knights have now scored 30 points for the 29th game in a row, the longest streak since 1936. UCF gets another power five opponent this week on the road against Pittsburgh. If the Knights are able to roll over them with a couple of ranked matchups producing losses this weekend, will they be able to crack the top 10?

Florida Gators- The Gators had to sweat it out, but in the end, we’re able to come away with a win in Lexington. It took a missed field goal and a 76-yard WR sweep to eventually put the game away.

The Big story though, is the injury to 3-year starter, Felipe Franks. Franks will be out for the remainder of the season with a broken ankle, and backups Kyle Trask and Emory Jones will be called upon to run the offense.

With a home game against a 1-2 Tennessee next, then a visit from Towson, the Gators have time to get the offense resituated before a four-game stretch against Auburn, LSU, South Carolina, and Georgia.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers- The Bucs came away with a big division win on Thursday night at Carolina. The Panthers had owned the Bucs with Cam Newton who had a 9-4 record vs. the team before this loss. The Bucs offense did just enough and let the defense do the rest.

The new-look Bucs defense under coordinator Todd Bowles has been one of the bigger surprises in the entire NFL so far. With a date with the Giants and rookie Daniel Jones, the Bucs could potentially feast on the young quarterback in his first career start.

Miami Hurricanes- The Canes finally got a win in 2019. After losing the first two games by a combined 7 points, they beat Bethune-Cookman 63-0.

QB Jarren Williams continues to improve game by game, and the rushing attack had another good performance. The Canes will play host to a former employer of Dan Enos next week, when Central Michigan comes to town. Following that,  the Canes get right back into conference play with home games against Virginia Teach, Virginia, and Georgia Tech.

And….

FAU Owls- The Owls final played a team not ranked, and it resulted in the first win of the season. FAU took down Ball State 41-31 on the road. QB Chris Robinson tossed four touchdowns and had 366 yards passing. Larry McCammon III had 99 yards rushing and had a touchdown of his own.

John Mitchell had a monster game of 8 catches for 124 and three touchdowns. The Owls will get Wagner next before getting into conference play.

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UCF Knights

UCF freshman QB Gabriel already bringing home honors

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

If there was any chance for a two-quarterback system to continue at UCF, that appears to be answered already.
With Brandon Wimbush and Darriel Mack, Jr., both trying to gain playing time, true freshman Dillon Gabriel put a stronghold on the spot.

For the first time, this season the Knights started the same QB as the week before, and it seems like it will be like this for the foreseeable future. Gabriel, who shredded the Stanford defense Saturday, has the accolades coming in and was named Co-Offensive Player of the Week for the AAC,

Gabriel was also was named Walter Camp Foundation Offensive Player of the Week after leading the Knights to a win over the Cardinal by completing 22/30 of his passes for 347 yards and 4 touchdowns.

He was able to hit for TD throws of 28 yards to Marlon Williams, 38 yards to Tre Nixon, 38 yards to Gabriel Davis and 1-yard to Jake Hescook.

UCF scored at least 30 points for their 29th consecutive game – the longest streak in the Football Bowl Subdivision since 1936. They also won their 27th consecutive regular season game on Saturday.

Gabriel continues to follow in fellow Hawaii phenom, Mckenzie Milton’s footsteps. From the same town and school as the UCF quarterback, he is on the path with the awards. Milton, who was the American Player of the Year in 2018, but suffered a horrible career threatening injury in November, is helping Gabriel adjust to college and leading the Knights.

By the way, Gabriel is the fourth UCF player to receive Walter Camp National Player of the Week honors, since 2004, and the first since quarterback Milton.

If Gabriel is going to be the starter going forward, and barring injury, it looks like he will, we can expect more performances like this leading Josh Heupel’s high-powered offense.

He will get another test next week on the road against another Power 5 opponent in Pittsburgh in a game that will also be televised to a lot of the country on ABC.

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