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US Sports

03rd Mar 2018

NFL prospect clears 20 reps on the bench press with prosthetic hand

Jack O'Toole

UCF linebacker Shaquem Griffin lifted 20 reps at the 2018 NFL combine with the aide of a prosthetic hand.

Griffin was born with a condition known as amniotic band syndrome which stunted the growth of fingers on his left hand. At the age of four, after he was found by his parents trying to remove his fingers with a butcher knife to alleviate the pain of the condition, he had his hand amputated the following day.

However, the loss of his left hand did not prevent him from playing sport as he played both baseball and football throughout school and onto college, where he was voted as a second-team All-American for the UCF Knights.

Griffin said that his arm was shaking just lifting the bar when he first started using the prosthetic hand at UCF but that he was delighted to see his hard work rewarded with his display at the combine.

“I mean, it’s amazing,” Shaquem told after the performance. “Obviously a lot of people didn’t feel like I was going to do the bench press and for me to be able to put a prosthetic on — I remember when I first started using the prosthetic, I had just the bar and I was shaking all over the place when I first got to UCF and being able to put up numbers like that, with good competition with everybody, it’s amazing because it just goes to show how much hard work I put in to get this level.”

Griffin’s 20 reps, which tied for 16th among participating linebackers, was three more than 256-pound Oklahoma tight end Mark Andrews, one more than 320-pound Western Michigan offensive lineman Chukwuma Okorafor and six more than 345-pound Oklahoma offensive lineman Orlando Brown.