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St. Pete man impresses NFL scouts, could play in the NFL with just one hand

Shaquem Griffin was a star at Lakewood High School
Posted at 6:39 PM, Mar 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-05 19:15:34-05

"Shaquem Griffin is absolutely dominating," proclaimed a broadcaster for the NFL Network this weekend after the St. Pete native ran the fastest 40-yard dash by any linebacker at the NFL Combine since they started recording times in 2003, completing the run in just 4.38 seconds.

And yet his speed is only a small part of what makes Griffin so impressive.

"From day one, unless you could physically see that he has a hand missing, you would never know from his productivity and everything else," says Cory Moore, the head coach of the Lakewood High School football team in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Moore helped coach Griffin and his twin brother from young teens into college-ready athletes.

But Shaquem, who is without a left hand because of a birth defect, has always had to put up with doubters.

"To be honest," says Coach Moore, "a lot of schools did not recruit Shaquem because he didn't fit the prototypical stereotype what they thought a player should look like."

Griffin is now trying to become the first defensive NFL player with just one hand.

His performance at the NFL Combine, to which he was given a late invite, is now proving that work ethic and ability can overcome traditional obstacles.

Griffin also lifted weights at the Combine by using a prosthetic hand.

"As a high school head coach, it's inspiring for me to use that for my young men to say, you just be a really good football player and then let your body of work speak for itself. As opposed to only having the guys that fit specific height, size, or what society deems a player should look like," says Coach Moore.

Griffin's body of work does speak for itself. He and his brother helped Lakewood High School win a football championship when they went to school in St. Pete. Griffin was also part of the University of Central Florida's undefeated football season last year.

His twin brother, Shaquill, is currently a member of the Seattle Seahawks.

So will an NFL team take a chance on Shaquem? 

The experts expect so, especially after a strong NFL Combine showing.

The NFL Draft is next month.