The unquestioned star of the 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl is Central Florida outside linebacker Shaquem Griffin.
The first things you notice when you meet Griffin or see him play is the fact that he does not have a left hand, the result of a rare birth defect known as Amniotic Band Syndrome. But his play and his personality quickly make that fact secondary.
In all my years around athletes I’ve never met one who is more upbeat. I don’t know if it has anything to do with what he’s had to overcome, all I know is it’s impossible to make the guy stop smiling.
In our meeting this week, it got to the point where I was searching for difficult and serious questions to see if he might stop smiling. It didn’t work.
Griffin sees every slight or underestimation as a welcomed challenge.
It’s how he’s approached his week in Mobile, where teams are trying to figure out how a 6-foot, 223-pound athlete from the American Athletic Conference might translate to the NFL.
Shockingly, Griffin has yet to be invited to the NFL Combine. But he’s not complaining. He’s confident the invitation is coming, and even if it doesn’t he’s sure he’ll find his way onto an NFL team.
I’m confident of that too. His success and positive attitude should be an inspiration to all of us.
I can’t wait to see his smiling on an NFL sideline.
For Threaded Fasteners, I’m Randy Kennedy with Nuts and Bolts of the Game.