INDIANAPOLIS (92.3 The Fan) – Shaquem Griffin had to beg for an invitation to the NFL Combine, which didn’t come until late January.
Saturday afternoon at the Indianapolis Convention Center Griffin put on one of the most inspirational and impressive performances ever seen.
“Everybody in the stands was hyping me up. I got the guys I’m here with hyping me up. It felt amazing,” Griffin said. “I was ready to go. I was ready to attack it.”
Griffin, who is without his left hand because it failed to develop properly and was amputated after his mother caught him trying to cut his fingers off when he was just 4-years old, banged out 20 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press.
“My goal was six,” Griffin said.
There were some scouts who weren’t sure he’d be able to lift more than 5 times. He did 20.
“It’s amazing to see how far I’ve come from not being able to bench the bar to throwing up 20 reps of 225 and being able to compete with the best here,” Griffin said.
After the first few lifts, the crowd began to roar louder with each rep cheering the 22-year old on.
He not only broke his previous personal best of 11 reps but he bested his twin brother Shaquille, who had 18 at last year’s combine before being drafted in the third round by Seattle.
On Friday, Griffin authored a letter to NFL general managers which was published by The Player’s Tribune. You can read it HERE.
The University of Central Florida linebacker was permitted to use a prosthetic on his left hand to help him hold the bar, but the rest of it was pure heart and determination.
“I feel like I could just start curling 225 right now and I’m pretty sure come tomorrow, it’s going to be adrenaline just going crazy. I’m excited about tomorrow. If I feel this good doing the bench press, I can’t wait to see how I am tomorrow.”
Griffin’s been dismissed and counted out for much of his life and he’s had to work harder.
“I always hold myself to a higher standard than a lot of people just because if we’re running drills, if I drop a ball, they’re going to like, ‘Well, he dropped the ball because he has one hand.’ If anybody else drops a ball, they’re going to be like, ‘Well, maybe it was a bad ball,'” Griffin said.
Griffin was named the AAC Defensive Player of the Year and he helped lead UCF to an undefeated 13-0 season.
Another Pec Injury On Bench Press – Miami receiver Braxton Berrios suffered a strained pectoral muscle Friday on his 12th rep on the bench press forcing him from Saturday’s workout at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The good news for Berrios, the injury isn’t serious.
“I had an idea of what it was,” Berrios said Saturday morning. “I didn’t think it was that serious whatsoever. And it turned out to be exactly what I thought it would be. So it was nice. Just getting the results and looking at the results with the doc and just seeing it was as minor as it possibly could have been. And I know the offensive lineman had a little bit worse luck earlier in the week. So you know prayers up for him. I understand a little bit where he’s coming from. But I got as lucky as I could with it.”
Ohio State center Billy Price suffered what he described as an “incomplete” tear on Thursday but does not expect to require surgery meaning he is planning to play in 2018.
Berrios said that he expects to “be 100 percent” by March 28th for Miami’s pro day.
Heart Condition Sidelines Maurice Hurst Jr. – Utah defensive lineman Lowell Lotulelei says Michigan defensive lineman Maurice Hurst Jr. told him Saturday that he had been diagnosed with the same heart condition as Lotulelei’s older brother, Star.
The comments came shortly after ESPN.com first reported Hurst will not be allowed to participate in drills.
League spokesman Michael Signora confirmed that players can be held out based on certain diagnoses but that he believed Hurst was still in town.
Hurst had been rising steadily on mock draft boards.
The 6-foot-2, 280-pound defensive tackle had 59 tackles and 5 1/2 sacks last season. He also had 13 tackles for loss and has been considered one component of a deep class of defensive tackles in this year’s draft.
Hurst’s father played seven seasons with the New England Patriots as a cornerback.
(© Copyright 2018 Entercom Communications. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)