The edge isn’t going anywhere, he says. That edge has been building since I was four years old. People start getting their edge when they start getting good at football—at an older age—but I got this when I was young. I’ve been doubted since I was four years old playing football.
It only grows. It never weakens.
He wants everyone to know his twin is an athlete like everyone else, that Griffin has no limitations and is without a doubt the best defensive player in the draft.
The only thing he has to do is be Shaquem Griffin, Shaquill says. If he can be Shaquem Griffin when he gets to the league, he has nothing to worry about.
The first will be familiar to everyone already glued to this feel-good story. Griffin was four years old…in the kitchen…holding a knife…ready to slice off his deformed left hand. Every time he bumped it, it hurt. He couldn’t play ball with his brothers. His mother seized the knife and had a doctor amputate the hand the next day.
What most may not know, though, is what happened when the Griffins got home. Mom instructed Griffin not to muddy up that bandage. He ignored her and played football. Needed to play football. And he was the happiest four-year-old on the planet.
No wonder he describes that second crossroads almost as an incarceration. Those first three years at Central Florida—under head coach George O’Leary—Griffin was stuck on the scout team as his twin flourished. Stuck in Unit 412, Room C. He’s not letting O’Leary off the hook yet, no. He says he pleaded his case for playing countless times to coaches, and they’d say whatever they could to get him out of the room.
Under O’Leary, he felt like a charity case.