ARLINGTON, Tx. – UCF Knights' Shaquem Griffin will join his brother in Seattle after being drafted Saturday by the Seahawks.
In the first two days of the NFL draft, three former UCF Knights players were picked up by teams including the Houston Texans and the New Orleans Saints. On Saturday, Shaquem Griffin's moment finally came in day three of the draft.
Griffin, whose inspiring story has been shared across the nation, already had a deal with Nike Football brand. He was just waiting on his team.
Saturday afternoon in the fifth round, the Seattle Seahawks selected Griffin as the 141st pick. The linebacker will join his brother, Shaquill Griffin, who already plays for the Seahawks, on the Pacific Coast. He is the first one-handed player to be drafted in the NFL.
"Welcome to the family," the NFL team tweeted at Griffin.
The congratulations rolled in quickly from former teammates, coaches and his new team.
"About time," ex-UCF head Coach Scott Frost, who led the Knights to a Peach Bowl win, tweeted.
Ahead of the Seahawk's decision, Frost described Griffin as "one of the best players, best guys, and best teammates I’ve ever been around. Whoever drafts him is getting a great player and a great leader."
Seahawk's general manager John Schneider and Head Coach Pete Carroll called Griffin on Saturday to welcome him to the team.
"You get to play with your brother again," Schneider said. "It's a dream come true for us, we're happy for you, man."
Carroll offered some advice for their newest player telling him to "be humble" and acknowledging that it was worth the wait.
"It’s the real deal, man. We appreciate you waiting this thing out. I know you’ve been dying a bit, but this is a great moment and we’re really excited about it," Carroll said. "We’re expecting you to come in and bust ass. You know that, right?"
Griffin said he would give the Seahawks his all, just like he has throughout his life.
The St. Petersburg native lost his left hand due to a rare prenatal condition. He went on to become American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2016 as a starting linebacker. Griffin ended his career with the Knights during the winning Peach Bowl game against Auburn in January.
Griffin’s motto “Against All Odds” continues to inspire people, including two Floridians who recently met their role model.
Like the former UCF star, Wyatt Falardeau has overcome incredible adversity.
He was born prematurely and had his right forearm amputated just weeks into his life. He is on the autism spectrum and was nonverbal until 7 years old.
Today, Falardeau, who wants to be an author, shows off his Blue Man Group-inspired bionic arm from UCF’s Limbitless Solutions.
Anni Emmert moved to Florida with her family a couple of years ago and loves to play soccer. Like Falardeau, Emmert, who was born without her right forearm, got a brand new bionic arm from Limbitless.
"There's nothing he can't do," Emmert said of Griffin.
Both teens got the opportunity of a lifetime recently when they met their favorite UCF Knight. The two told News 6 that they talked with Griffin about many things at Pro Day in Orlando.
The UCF legend left a lasting impact, which is sure to grow during his time in the NFL, on a pair of remarkable fans.