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Linebacker Shaquem Griffin showed that even though he may only have one hand, it's determination that matters most.
The University of Central Florida star, who had his left hand amputated when he was 4, wowed scouts in Indianapolis at the NFL scouting combine this past weekend with his strength and speed in his latest bid to silence anyone doubting he can play football at the highest level.
Griffin, 22, did a remarkable 20 repetitions of 225 pounds on the bench press Saturday — nearly double his personal best and in line with other top prospects — using a prosthetic left hand.
Then he went out a day later and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds, the fastest time ever recorded for a linebacker at the NFL scouting combine.
"There's going to be a lot more doubters saying what I can't do,'' Griffin said at a press conference on Saturday. "And I'm ready to prove them wrong."
Many established NFL stars were blown away by Griffin's performance.
Griffin was born with a rare condition known as amniotic band syndrome, which prevented his fingers from growing properly.
The pain was so intense that Griffin's mother caught him with a knife ready to cut his hand off when he was 4 years old, she told Sports Illustrated. That frightening moment prompted the decision to have his hand amputated, and he's never looked back.
Griffin almost didn't get a chance to impress the scouts at the combine despite being the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2016 and leading the Knights to an undefeated season this past fall.
He wasn't initially selected to the combine until receiving a late invite on Jan. 30 after being picked to play in the Senior Bowl, an annual all-star game that showcases the top senior prospects in college football.
Griffin's 40-yard dash matched the time run by his twin brother, Shaquill, at last year's NFL combine, which is even more impressive considering Shaquem is 33 pounds heavier.
Shaquill, a cornerback who also starred at Central Florida, went on to be drafted in the third round by the Seattle Seahawks.
Shaquill's head coach, Pete Carroll, broke from the norm of stoic NFL evaluator to pump his fist at Shaquem's blazing 40-yard dash time on Sunday.
Griffin now looks to join his brother in the NFL and become the first one-handed player to ever be drafted into the league.
"Kids, grown men, grown women can see me and know that whatever they want in life they can accomplish," he said, "as long as they put their mind to it."
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