UCF student Shaquem Griffin was a late invite to the NFL combine, but his performance is definitely one of the standouts. Not only did he run the fastest 40 yards for a linebacker ever with 4.38 seconds, he managed to complete 20 reps on the 225-bench press test, a feat made all the more impressive given the fact that his left hand was amputated when he was 4 years old.
Take a look at the phenomenal feat (and one of the best-filmed bench press sets we’ve seen in a while) below.
His twin brother Shaquill Griffin plays for the Seattle Seahawks, and at his combine he managed 17 reps.
In an interview that took place immediately after the set above, Griffin said,
I mean my adrenaline was going through the roof, man. I didn’t feel like I needed to stop, so. Soon as I heard 16 I’m like, yo I’m going for 20. (…)
Obviously a lot of people didn’t think I was gonna be able to do the bench press. And for me to be able to use a prosthetic arm. I remember when I first started to use the prosthetic I had just the bar, I was shaking all over the place, when I first got to UCF. (…) It’s amazing because it goes to show how much hard work I put in to get to this level.
Griffin was born with amniotic band syndrome, which constricted blood flow to his left hand before it was fully developed. He didn’t always use the advanced prosthetic he used in the bench press set — take a look at what he used to train with in 2012.
[These 5 strength athletes managed 50+ reps on the 225lb bench press test. TCheck them out here!]
On NFL Total Access, host Dan Hellie sat down with Terrell Davis and DeMarcus Ware to talk about which athletes helped themselves the most in the combine this year, and Davis was a huge fan.
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) March 6, 2018
Davis: To me the story just never gets old: Shaquem Griffin. It just doesn’t get old, man. Of course he helped himself at this combine. The guy ran the fastest 40 yard for a linebacker since, I think 2003.
Hellie: It’s really the fastest ever, we’ve only been keeping track since 2003. So it’s very possible that nobody’s ever been faster.(…)
The most amazing thing to me was the bench press, 20 reps when he put on the prosthesis that helpedh im get it up. He thought that he was going to get it six times. He said that if everything goes right maybe I’ll get it 11 times. he got it 20 times!
Davis: He said a month ago he was only able to do it ten times! No he’s got it 20 times. So this man is really working hard to improve, that’s great.
Time will tell if he makes it to an NFL team, but we’re certainly rooting for him.
Featured image via NFL Network on YouTube.