The University of Central Florida will have a Knight in the National Football League after the Seattle Seahawks selected Shaquill Griffin in the third round of the NFL Draft.
The former UCF defensive back will be the 36th Knight to ever go to the NFL. Griffin earned all-conference honors in the American Athletic Conference in 2016 after earning four interceptions and fifteen pass break ups, tying the second most in a single season in UCF history.
In the first game of the Scott Frost era in 2016 against South Carolina State, both Shaquem and Shaquill Griffin collected a turnover in the 38-0 contest to start the season.
According to UCF Athletics, Griffin ranked No. 5 in the nation and No. 1 in The American in passes defended – 19. Griffin made 50 tackles his senior year and totaled 125 tackles with his time at UCF. As a defender Shaquill ran two picks back for touchdowns and blocked on kick.
In high school, Shaquill ranked as the No. 4 corner back in the nation, Knight News covered in 2013. Both Shaquem and Shaquill came as a package deal. Many schools declined the deal due Shaquem’s physical deformity in his hand.
“The campus is amazing and we really like what we see,” Shaquem said in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel in 2013. “We’ve talked to a lot of their coaches, the trainers. We looked around the school, weight room and it’s amazing being in that environment.”
Shaquem came back and became the American Athletic Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year and became the talk of the nation on ESPN and other national media outlets on his performance.
Griffin stole the show in the NFL Combine, seemingly coming out of nowhere to scouts and personnel with a 4.38 40-yard dash – the fourth best out of fifty for a defender at the Combine – and as “Top Performer” in the broad and vertical jump.
Photos courtesy of UCF Athletics Communications.