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

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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

USF and UCF got American Conference 2020 schedules Tuesday

Florida Football Insiders

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Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday afternoon the American Athletic Conference made official is 2020 football dates for opponents for its conference members. And, that means UCF and USF got to look for the first time at their full conference slates and when they are playing whom.

First for the Knights, they learned that they will open year three of coach Josh Heupel’s conference play on Thursday night September 24th at East Carolina. It is one of three stand-alone weeknight(day) games UCF has on their schedule.

The next one will be Friday night October 16th, as UCF travels to play the Memphis Tigers. That’s a team that the Knights defeated for two Conference Championship Game victories in 2017 and 18.

UCF will also play a traditional “War on I-4” game with the rival Bulls on the Friday after Thanksgiving November 27th. This will be the fourth straight year of playing on “Black Friday.”

As for the Knights other part of the league schedule, they will have their AAC home opener with Tulsa on Saturday October 3rd and then, finish the slate with two huge home matchups with Temple Saturday November 14th followed by Cincinnati at Spectrum Stadium the following week.

For the Bulls, who welcome first year coach Jeff Scott in 2020, they will only have two standalone appearances in conference play. Those will be a Friday night home game October 23rd with Tulsa and then, the previously mentioned final rivalry game with UCF on Friday November 27th.

The Bulls first conference game of the season will be at Cincinnati on October 3rd, while the home opener is East Carolina the following week at Raymond James Stadium.

USF has a tough road slate beginning at Temple on October 17th and then, after the Friday night home game with Tulsa, playing at Memphis November 7th and at Houston November 14th.

The conference is playing 2020 with only 11 members, as UConn has departed and gone back to the Big East. This will also be the first time that the AAC doesn’t play a two six team division format and will instead take the top two ranked teams in conference play for it’s December Championship Game.

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Speedy former UCF RB Killins looks to impress at Shrine Bowl

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One-player eager to start showcasing himself Saturday afternoon in the pre-draft process  in St Petersburg is former UCF speedster RB, Adrian Killins.

Killins ,who just finished four years of highlight runs and touchdowns for the the Knights will participate in the East-West Shrine Bowl.

Killins is generously listed at 5’9 and 165 lb. and came UCF without much fanfare from Daytona Mainland High School. However, he had been an explosive player on the football gridiron, and he was also a former two time 3A State 200m track champion before coming to Orlando.

Once at UCF in 2016, Killins immediately showed off his explosiveness and moniker of “fastest player in college football” with a 100-yard kickoff return at ECU and an 87 yard touchdown run at “the Big House” in Ann Arbor against Michigan.

His best season was his sophomore year, when he was named First Team All American Athletic Conference RB, as he rushed for 790 yards and 10 touchdowns to lead UCF. He showed versatility and caught another additional 25 passes for 169 yards.

He also set a UCF record for longest play from scrimmage that still stands, in the UCF regular season win over Memphis, as he took a handoff and the looked like a missle racing down the sideline:

Killins helped the Knights experience their greatest season ever at 13 – 0 with not only a thrilling double-overtime conference title game rematch win over the Tigers, but a New Year’s Day upset of SEC Powerhouse Auburn in the Peach Bowl for the perfect season.

His next two years under Josh Heupel and his new coaching staff were not as spectacular. But, he still he would make the occasional explosive run and finished his career with over 1,700 yards rushing and 25 touchdowns.

He did leave a final impression with his 115 yards and 1 TD in the regular season finale with USF.

Now, he knows that with his smaller size, even with blazing speed, he will be challenged to stick on an NFL roster, and another way might be as a kick returner. Killins left UCF with a career 21.8 avg on 47 returns as a Knight.

He will likely need to show that part of his game to help him get a realistic shot at the next level. And, we wait to see if there will be explosive plays from him Saturday.

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