How Shaquem Griffin's NFL combine performance inspires others

UCF standout linebacker showing next generation how to compete

ORLANDO, Fla. – Shaquem Griffin attracted quite the crowd in Indianapolis for the NFL's scouting combine, and many are viewing his performance as inspiration for others and a chance to show the world people are not limited by any disabilities. 

Griffin's spotlight included doing 20 repetitions on the bench press while wearing a prosthetic, something the NFL combine has never seen before.

He was 4 years old when doctors amputated his left hand a day after his mother found him in the kitchen attempting to cut off his jelly-like fingers, which were in scorching pain whenever he touched anything, the result of amniotic band syndrome, a congenital birth defect.

Griffin's talent and ability to overcome adversity isn't new to those on University of Central Florida's campus -- where Griffin once starred as linebacker for the Knights -- or those with Limbitless Solutions, which creates and delivers bionic limbs to children all across the globe. 

"We're freaking out watching him put up numbers that haven't been seen by anyone in his position," Limbitless Solutions president Albert Manero said.  

Manero isn't surprised by Griffin's success. On more than one occasion, Manero and Griffin have teamed up to help children realize what's possible. 

"He's been such an inspiration to our team and our bionic kids," Manero said. "He's had a chance to meet several of them and it always leaves the kids so excited and so hopeful to what they're growing up to be." 

Now Manero hopes Griffin's spotlight will also shine a light on how technology has more than leveled the playing field for many when it comes to bionic limbs. 

"There's a lot of stigma associated to it, and our hope is his success and his efforts will make a more inclusive world for everyone," he said.  

The NFL draft is set to take place April 26-28 in Arlington, Texas. 

About the Author:

It has been an absolute pleasure for Clay LePard living and working in Orlando since he joined News 6 in July 2017. Previously, Clay worked at WNEP TV in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he brought viewers along to witness everything from unprecedented access to the Tobyhanna Army Depot to an interview with convicted double-murderer Hugo Selenski.