Shaquem Griffin should hope every top NFL personnel executive sees him in the same light as Tom Telesco does. When it comes to the University of Central Florida linebacker’s lack of a left hand affecting his draft stock, the Chargers general manager said the words Griffin wants to hear. "You wouldn't notice it watching him play," Telesco told me this week at the NFL Scouting Combine. "You just don't." Griffin hasn't let the impediment — the result of a birth defect (Amniotic Band Syndrome) that caused amputation at the age of four — dash his football dreams. Griffin excelled the past two seasons for the Knights, including his 62-tackle, 5.5-sack 2017 campaign that helped UCF finish as the only unbeaten FBS team. "I could have been that kid who can feel all the negativities that were thrown at me,” Griffin told co-host Bill Polian and me earlier this week on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “A lot of coaches and guys were saying that, 'Football wasn't for one-handed players. It’s only for 2-handed players.' "Instead, I always turn a negative into a positive. I always use a negative as fuel for me to do better. Every time somebody assumed I couldn't do something I made sure that I’d do it — and I’d do it better than they’d ever think I would." While doing that, the 6-2, 222-pound Griffin became one of the NCAA’s most inspirational players and a role model for youngsters who are dealing with similar physical disabilities. Griffin was recently named the inaugural Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year, an award presented to someone "who has demonstrated a record of leadership by exhibiting exceptional courage, integrity and sportsmanship both on and off the field."
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Shaquem Griffin refuses to let hand amputation dash NFL dream
Sporting News | Mar 4