It’s arguably the best off the field draft story of 2018. And, it played out in our state Saturday, as UCF’s Shaquem Griffin was drafted in the fifth round by the Seattle Seahawks and re-united with his twin brother Shaquill.
Griffin was invited to last weekend’s proceedings in Arlington, TX, by the NFL, as one of the 22 players they wanted to be part of the experience on site and eventually, come out on stage, when their name was called. The UCF linebacker/safety was there for the opening night, when he knew he had no realistic shot of being drafted round one. However, there was some belief after his impressive draft build up workouts and interviews that he might go in night two (second-third rounds).
Alas, that did not happen either.
Finally, Saturday afternoon, the former St. Pete Lakewood High School and UCF star, was taken with the 151st overall pick and re-united with his brother, Shaquill, who was drafted by the Seahawks a year earlier.
It’s a tremendous story, and as we wrote Saturday, it’s not some publicity gimmick or charity by Seattle. They have needs on defense and they believe Shaquem’s talents will help him, and may very well also help his brother become a better player in their secondary, too.
Shaquem Griffin appeared on Rich Eisen’s national radio/tv simulcast show Tuesday afternoon and gave more example of his personality, was humorous at times and candid about the whole process:
"That's an experience a lot of people can't say they did." -new @Seahawks LB @ShaquemGriffin told us if he regrets staying in the #NFLDraft Green Room as long as he did and what life has been like since being drafted on Saturday: pic.twitter.com/P1HLuyn6Lx
— Rich Eisen Show (@RichEisenShow) May 2, 2018
Particularly interesting was Eisen’s question about sitting in the draft “green room” for three days “I can definitely say the wait was worth it. It was a rough three days, but I’d definitely wait all over again for opportunity to get out there with my brother.” He continued on whether he regretted sitting there Thursday and Friday, “That’s an experience that a lot of people can’t say they did (sic)… Being a kid watching on TV how it’s done, it definitely different when you are the one sitting inside the green room.”
Clearly, with his disability of an amputated left hand, Griffin became a heart warming inspirational story over the last three months. However, also clearly, he’s demonstrated skill on the football field during a magical UCF 2017 season. And, his speed and physical display at the NFL Scouting Combine also told NFL scouts and personnel guys that he deserves a shot at the NFL level.
The Seahawks have given him that shot.
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