Shaquem Griffin became the first one-handed player in American football history to be drafted by an NFL team on Sunday when the Seattle Seahawks opted for him in the fifth round.
He excelled at the college level, winning his conference's defensive player of the year award in 2016 and then starring for an unbeaten team last season.
Griffin was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the fifth round Saturday. Shaquill was picked up by Seattle in the third round previous year, and Shaquem came on like a runaway freight train the past two seasons, earning a draft selection on Saturday.
"Having my brother beside me and to have competition with him, I knew what my ability was and I knew what I could do", Shaquem Griffin said.
"I want to show the entire world, no matter (if you have) one hand, two hands, if you're a ball player, you just play ball", he said ahead of his selection.
Griffin was not present at AT&T Stadium on the final day of the draft, instead waiting to hear the news with family and friends at a nearby Arlington hotel, and had one of the more unusual ways of finding out he was chosen.
Shaquem will become the team's weakside linebacker.
"Everybody thinks it is a sentimental story, but Shaquem Griffin doesn't think like that", Griffin said.
Since the, he's been the talk of the league, and the outpouring of support from the entire NFL and wider sporting community after he was drafted was awesome to see. Shaquill, a cornerback, was a third-round pick of Seattle in 2017.
"I am a football player at the end of the day and people who feel sorry or have any pity on me, they are the ones that are going to have to get off or get back", Griffin said. "Sometimes the pressure like that can break you and it is a lot of pressure", Shaquem said. "My brother kind of tackled me with my cellphone, saying 'answer it, answer it.' I looked, and that's when tears just started pouring down". I knew I wasn't going to be a first-round pick or anything like that. He also bench pressed 225 pounds (100 kilograms) 20 times, using a prosthetic hand to complete the exercise. But everything I've learned about emotions in sports also told me that's precisely the type of mistake you make when you get too emotionally invested in a specific outcome.
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