Data Scout Notes: 2017: 1stC...PBednarik...**2016: DPOYC/1stC...2014: NA
Shaquem Griffin/Central Florida football Videos
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01/04/18 - 2017 ASSOCIATED PRESS ALL-BOWL TEAM: Linebacker: Shaquem Griffin, Central Florida (Peach): Griffin had 12 tackles - 3 ½ for loss - with 1 ½ sacks to help the 10th-ranked Knights cap their perfect season by beating No. 7 Auburn 34-27. - AP College Football
12/28/17 - 2017 ALL-AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE FIRST TEAM (COACHES): LB Shaquem Griffin, UCF, Sr.,...The Knights hauled in an American Athletic Conference record 16 All-Conference honors, highlighted by Offensive Player of the Year McKenzie Milton and Coach of the Year Scott Frost. The Knights put 16 players on the First and Second Teams, the most by any team in the history of The American. UCF's nine First Team honorees was also a record for the league. Nominated for Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, honoring student-athletes for their outstanding community service...Named to four preseason watch lists for national awards: Butkus Award for the nation's best linebacker; Nagurski Trophy for Defensive Player of the Year; Bednarik Award for the best defensive player in the nation; and the Wuerffel Trophy for achievements on and off the field...Started 12 games at linebacker...Third on the team with 62 tackles, which includes 10 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks...Registered one interception, three pass breakup and nine QB hurries...Recovered two fumbles and forced two fumbles. - Central Florida Football…
…Pitcher Jim Abbott is a baseball legend for his courage and resolve to compete at the highest level, despite missing his right hand. He not only achieved his goal, but had an 11-year MLB career with a no-hitter as a member of the New York Yankees.
UCF’s Shaquem Griffin (sha-KEEM) is attempting to accomplish the same feat, but in the NFL as a linebacker, a sport and position much more reliant on the use of both hands. He lost his left hand at the age of four due to a rare birth condition, but defied the odds in college, thriving as an outside linebacker (field side) in the Knights’ 3-4 scheme the past two seasons. Griffin earned conference defensive player of the year honors in 2016 and combined for 164 tackles and 33.5 tackles for loss his junior and senior seasons.
Griffin has impressive jets and burst as a rusher off the edge or pursuit player, but his energetic play speed is a double-edge sword, overrunning and missing plays at times. Without the use of his left hand, Griffin is at a clear disadvantage when taking on blocks and attempting off-balance tackles, which especially shows near the line of scrimmage. However, not having a left hand is all he has ever known and it is easy to appreciate his accomplishments on the football field despite the limitations, flashing the courageous attitude and nonstop motor to overcome any obstacle.
BACKGROUND A three-star safety recruit out of high school, Griffin recorded 72 tackles as a senior safety at Lakewood in 2012, earning all-state honors. He also ran track and competed in the 4x100, discus, triple jump and shot put, winning the state title in the triple jump in spring 2012. Although Shaquem wasn’t as highly touted of a recruit as his twin brother Shaquill, the two brothers were considered a package deal during the 2013 recruiting cycle, leading Shaquill to turn down offers from Florida, Florida State and Ole Miss.
The brothers both received scholarship offers from over a dozen FBS-level programs and were drawn to the culture at UCF. After redshirting in 2013, Griffin spent the 2014 season on the scout team and played the sophomore year as a back-up safety and special teamer, posting nine tackles. Under new head coach Scott Frost, Griffin moved to outside linebacker and flourished as a junior with a team-best 20.0 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks, adding 92 tackles, nine passes defended and one interception to earn AAC Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2016. He returned for his senior season and again started all 13 games, finishing with 74 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, 7.0 sacks and one interception to earn First Team All-AAC honors for the second straight year.
STRENGTHS Runs like the wind. Burst player. Instant acceleration with the chase speed to close gaps. Smart pursuit player and understands angles, finding the quickest path to the ball. Screams off the corner as a rusher, displaying easy dip and flatten skills. Active on stunts and blitzes. Not a finesse player and won’t avoid contact. Physically sets the edge. Handles zone coverage responsibilities with his foot quickness and hips. Motor is stuck on turbo and never gives anything less than 100% effort. Competes with the heart and determination that is clear in his play. Teammates feed off his energy and leadership. Faced obvious adversity with his disability and handling the pressures of the NFL won’t be an issue. Uses a prosthetic to lift weights and do pull-ups (only time he uses one). His love of studying film reached a new level when he lived in the film room during 2017 preseason camp, sleeping on a blow-up mattress. NFL bloodlines – older twin brother (Shaquill) is a cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks (drafted in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft). Adjusted to a new position in 2016 and was highly productive as a starter the past two seasons, averaging 6.4 tackles and 1.3 tackles for loss per game. – Dane Brugler 1/17/2018
WEAKNESSES Born with Amniotic Band Syndrome, which deformed his left hand and led to amputation at the age of four. Not shy taking on blockers, but relies on his shoulder or right arm, struggling to maintain body position. Late to shed blocks or work off contact due to his hand limitations. Looks to wrap as a striker, but slides off ballcarriers and gets in trouble attempting one-handed tackles. Limited pass rush moves and reliant on speed as a blitzer. Plays out of control and will find himself out of position, leading to negative plays. Undersized body type and will have trouble adding bulk. – Dane Brugler 1/17/2018
IN OUR VIEW: Griffin might not be an every-down linebacker in the NFL, but he is absolutely a Sunday player due to his play speed and determined effort, projecting best as a special teams demon and dynamic subpackage linebacker. …
Named Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Defensive MVP... Received 2018 Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion award... Earned ESPN All-Bowl Team honors... Nominated for Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, honoring student-athletes for their outstanding community service... Named to four preseason watch lists for national awards: Butkus Award for the nation's best linebacker; Nagurski Trophy for Defensive Player of the Year; Bednarik Award for the best defensive player in the nation; and the Wuerffel Trophy for achievements on and off the field... 2017 All-Conference First Team in The American... Started 13 games at linebacker... Third on the team with 74 tackles, which includes 13 tackles for loss and seven sacks... Registered one interception, three pass breakup and nine QB hurries... Recovered two fumbles and forced two fumbles... FIU 8/31: Collected three tackles, including one for loss.
at Maryland 9/23: Had three tackles, including one for loss... Memphis 9/30: Tallied eight tackles, including five unassisted and one sack, one forced fumble and one QB hurry... at Cincinnati 10/7: Contributed six tackles along with one sack and one QB hurry ... ECU 10/14: Recorded six tackles, including three unassisted and one sack... at Navy 10/21: Set a season-best with 10 tackles, including five unassisted... Austin Peay 10/28: Had a fumble recovery and 20-yard return along with one tackle and one QB hurry... at SMU 11/4: Notched two tackles and two QB hurries... UConn 11/11: Amassed five tackles, one sack and one QB hurry... at Temple 11/18: Registered three tackles, one forced fumble and an interception return for 22 yards... South Florida 11/24: Notched nine tackles, including six solo stop and a half sack, two QB hurries and a pass breakup... Memphis 12/2: Accounted for six tackles, including four unassisted and two sacks, recovered a fumble, and registered a QB hurry and pass breakup ... Auburn 1/1: Saved his best for last with a season-high 12 tackles, six solos and six assists, including a season-high 3.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.
Named American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year and earned First Team All-Conference honors... Earned The American Defensive Player of the Week accolades after performance against Houston... Played in and started all 13 games at outside linebacker... Led the team with 20.0 tackles for loss, which is tied for the third most in a single season in UCF history... Also led the Knights with 11.5 sacks, the sixth most in a season at UCF... Finished the season ranked 12th in the nation in sacks and 13th in tackles for loss... Totaled 92 tackles and a team high 57 unassisted tackles... Added seven pass break-ups, two fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and an interception... South Carolina State 9/3: Had six tackles, one sack and a forced fumble.
Maryland 9/17: Had seven tackles, 1.5 for a loss, and one sack... FIU 9/24: Totaled five tackles, three for a loss, two sacks and a pass break-up... East Carolina 10/1: Finished with five tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble... Temple 10/15: Had two pass break-ups, one sack, 1.5 tackles for loss and five total tackles... UConn 10/22: Recorded first game with double digit tackles, finishing with 10... Houston 10/29: Totaled 14 tackles, 12 of which were unassisted, 3.0 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, one fumble recovery and an interception... Cincinnati 11/12: Had seven tackles, three for a loss, two sacks and a fumble recovery... Tulsa 11/19: Notched eight tackles, including two for a loss, and had one pass break-up... USF 11/26: Finished the regular season with five total tackles and two tackles for loss... Arkansas State at Cure Bowl 12/17: Totaled seven tackles, with one for a loss and half a sack.
Played in 12 games, compiling nine tackles on special teams and as a safety... Tulane 10/3: Notched first collegiate tackle as well as fumble recovery... Tulsa 11/7: Had a pair of tackles... USF 11/26: Posted a season-high three tackles with a break-up on defense.
Saw time in one game and it took place vs. Penn State in Ireland... Named Defensive Scout Team Player of the Week for the Bethune-Cookman contest.
Worked with the scout team Dressed for the Memphis game but did not play
Worked with the scout team... Dressed for the Memphis game but did not play.
Coached by Cory Moore at Lakewood, which advanced to the 2012 5A regional semifinals... Received three stars from Rivals and ESPN... Ranked as the No. 92 safety in the nation by ESPN... Earned a spot on the 2012 class 5A all-state second team... Named to the 2012 Tampa Bay Times All-Suncoast Second Team... Selected to the 2013 U.S. Under-19 National Team, assembled by USA Football, and in the Team USA vs. The World International Bowl Feb. 5, made ESPN SportsCenter's Top 10 with a memorable interception in the redzone... Competed in the 2012 Florida Athletic Coaches Association North-South All-Star Game... Listed at No. 42 on the Orlando Sentinel 2013 Midwest Florida Super60... Amassed 72 tackles with 12 break-ups and one sack in 2012... Had 61 tackles, nine break-ups, two forced fumbles and one interception as a junior... Participated in the 2011 Under Armour Combine... Member of the 7-on-7 Team Tampa undefeated and state championship squad.
Also ran track for Lakewood, competing in the 4x100, discus, triple jump and shot put, and received interest for track from LSU, Miami and Purdue... Was the Tampa Bay Times Track and Field Athlete of the Year in Pinellas County in the spring of 2012 as he won the state title in the triple jump and broke two school records... In all, earned four letters in track and three in football as a safety... While in high school, received the United States Achievement Academy Student of Excellence Award, the Mr. LHS Award and the 2012 Mike June Courage Award... The mayor presented him with the On Top of Your Game Award as well as a key to the city... One of four finalists for the National STUDENT-Athlete Day Giant Steps Award in the category of Courageous Student-Athlete, presented by the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS) With twin brother Shaquill, started their own track club in St. Petersburg... Chose UCF over Akron, Arkansas, Ball State, Boston College, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Colgate, FIU, Houston, Kent State, Kentucky, Marshall, Massachusetts, Miami, Minnesota, Princeton, South Alabama, Toledo, USF, West Virginia and Western Kentucky.
Lost his left hand at the age of four due to a rare condition before birth... Born in St. Petersburg, Fla.... Nickname is Keem... Parents are Terry and Tangie Griffin, and was born a minute after brother, Shaquill.
Draft Scout Player News
01/30/18 - LB Shaquem Griffin is headed to the NFL Scouting Combine after all. Griffin, one of the best feel-good stories in college football in years, announced via social media on Tuesday that he was invited to the combine. Despite playing with one hand, the result of a birth defect, Griffin was named the American Athletic Conference's Defensive Player of the Year and led Central Florida to an undefeated season. The 6-foot, 222-pound Griffin had not been invited to the combine until after he showed he was a legitimate NFL prospect during practice sessions last week for the Senior Bowl.
01/27/18 - Top 15 Senior Bowl Performers: 7. Shaquem Griffin, LB, UCF...Just like he has done his entire life, Griffin again surpassed expectations during Senior Bowl practices. During team and individual drills, he rushed off the edge, dropped in space and did a little bit of everything -- and did it all well. Coming into the week, Griffin was considered a draftable player and his play in Mobile only confirmed that. He will be a special teams demon and valuable sub-package linebacker in the NFL. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
01/25/18 - Senior Bowl Thursday: While there is no denying that Griffin's lack of a left hand limits his ability to shed blocks, tackle or intercept passes in a traditional sense, he has adapted wonderfully, using his forearm to fend off opponents. Offensive linemen are taught to grab the wrist and pull defenders down if opponents are successful in reaching their chest. Griffin's narrow limb, however, gives opponents a comparatively small, blunt target which -- combined with his agility -- makes it very difficult for blockers to keep him contained for long. Defenders are not allowed to take ball-carriers to the ground during practices. Do not be the least bit surprised, however, if Griffin ranks among Saturday's leading tacklers. Tape review shows that despite what some would call a handicap, Griffin is one of the more technically sound open-field tacklers in this draft, breaking down well, initiating contact and wrapping his arms fully to stop ball-carriers in their tracks. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
01/25/18 - Senior Bowl Thursday: As odd as it may sound for the 6-foot, 222-pounder, Griffin was even more effective as an edge rusher, beating Humboldt State left tackle Alex Cappa -- the most consistent pass protector for either team this week -- for big plays during 11-on-11 scrimmages, as well as during one-on-ones. Rushing off the right edge out of the two-point stance, Griffin blew past Cappa early in practice to force a wounded-duck throw by the South team's quarterback, which was intercepted by Virginia's Quin Blanding. A series later, Griffin used a quick stutter-step to slip by Cappa through the B gap, and was credited with a sack. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
01/25/18 - Senior Bowl Thursday: Central Florida linebacker Shaquem Griffin is one of the more inspirational stories in sports, earning the American Athletic Conference's Defensive Player of the Year award and leading the Golden Knights to an undefeated season despite playing with just one hand. Griffin is not just a story of a resiliency, however. He is proving this week at the Senior Bowl that he is a legitimate NFL prospect, albeit one who has not been granted an invitation to the 2018 Scouting Combine. It is difficult to appreciate Griffin's ability to play with only one hand until watching him in person. Whether asked to drop into coverage or rush off the edge, Griffin consistently wins due to a combination of diagnosis skills and overall athleticism, showing the same playmaking ability that helped his twin brother, Shaquill, record 15 pass break-ups as a rookie starting cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks this past season. Griffin initially lined up as an off-ball linebacker during Thursday's practice, showing the quick feet and loose hips to shadow running backs in coverage, usually forcing quarterbacks to look elsewhere and not allowing a catch to be made when they did attempt to force the ball in. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com