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One-handed Griffin working well before the NFL draft



ORLANDO, FL (AP) Annika Emmert and her mother made the short detour south to visit Shaquem Griffin's Pro-Day at UCF.

They took a seat just behind the side barricade at the inside of the campus practice area.

They watched. They cheered. They waited for Griffin to complete linebacker and defensive back exercises, to meet with some NFL scouts and then finish several rounds of media interviews.

When he finally finished, Griffin stopped hello to Emmert and another prosthetic teen. The reason was obvious.

Emmert, a 1

3-year-old high school student from St. Augustine, has a hand like Griffin. They exchanged pleasantries, talked about his training, the next month's NFL draft, and got ice cream and strawberry soda.

When Griffin gets close to the NFL impact he had on Emmert and others with disabilities, he becomes a star.

"Everything he does is just an inspiration to everyone like me," said Emmert. "Basically, it's just amazing what he did and what he can do."

Tears ran down Emmert's cheeks a few minutes later as she talked about children whose age did not allow them to lift their breasts after playing football. And then she beamed, thinking about everything Griffin achieved and everything he has in front of him.

"Even though it's not a big deal, it's always a big deal to meet someone like him who's just like you," she said. "It makes your heart pounding, it's so amazing."

Nobody would deny that.

Griffin was the good mood story of the NFL design. A wave of support invited him to a Boy Scout group in Indianapolis, where he fingered the audience by squeezing 225 pounds dizzyingly 20 times with a left prosthesis and then covering the 40-meter run in 4.38 seconds.

He's special, man, "said UCF cornerback Mike Hughes, widely used as first choice." What he has done in recent months is just unbelievable. "

Griffin had little to prove on Thursday.

He did not have to sit on the bench, he did not have to run, he probably did not have to do anything.

But he demanded everything and everything from him.

Defensive Player of the Year 2017 of the American Athletic Conference made the vertical jump, did some maneuverability and even worked with defensive backs to show that he was able to break balls, kick backwards and turn his hips at full speed, dropping some passes but also making some acrobatic catches. [19659002] "If I have anything left to prove, just tell me what I have to do and I'll do it," Griffin said

Griffin was 4 years old when doctors found him the day after his mother found him in the kitchen had cut off the gelatinous fingers, which had scorching pain with every touch, his left hand amputated something. He suffered from an amniotic band syndrome, a congenital birth defect.

Despite only one hand, he was holding his twin brother on and off the field.

His brother, Shaquill Griffin, is now a cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks

Shaquem will join him in the league in a few weeks. He has become so popular that the NFL has already invited him to personally attend the NFL Draft in Dallas.

"It shows that I have worked a lot and it is now paying off," Griffin said, adding that the design momentum for his family is going to be emotional. "I was a guy who was under the radar and they did not believe in me at first, but I think they're starting to believe now."

Representatives from 31 out of 32 NFL teams were present to watch Griffin, Hughes and several talented teammates on Thursday

Griffin has already met privately with Tennessee and New Orleans and has set up several training sessions over the next few weeks. Although there has been much speculation about where he will play on the next level, Griffin said that most teams call him a weak linebacker.

"All doubts about him … You see him appearing out here, I do not know why there is any doubt," said UCF receiver Tre & Quan Smith. "He can play, of course."

He can also inspire others.

Emmert wants to become a pediatric oncologist and has no backup plan. When Griffin does his thing, she is confident that she can do whatever she wants.

"Honestly, it's just amazing," she said. "I always wanted to do something like that, especially in the future, not just in football like him, because I do not know anything about football, but as long as he's inside, I'll be there as well."

More AP College Football : www.collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25 [19659033] (function () {
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