Shaquem Griffin invited to combine after initial snub

ByBRADY HENDERSON via <a href="" title="ESPN" class="espn_sc_byline">ESPN </a>
January 30, 2018, 2:15 PM

&#151; -- Shaquem Griffin is heading to the NFL scouting combine after all.

The star linebacker from the University of Central Florida has received an invitation to the combine, his agent confirmed Tuesday. It's a significant development as Griffin attempts to become the first player with one hand to be drafted during the league's modern era, according to the NFL.

The news of his combine invitation comes after Griffin stood out at the Senior Bowl, where he was named practice player of the week.

"Thank you all for all ya'll support. The entire nation's behind me and I couldn't do it without you. I'm going to let you know: something special's coming soon and you're going to see it," Griffin said in a video he tweeted. "They invited the right one to the NFL combine. I'm going to show you. I've got a lot to prove. Against all odds."

Griffin's left hand was amputated at age 4 because of a congenital condition called amniotic band syndrome. Despite that, he was a two-year starter at UCF and a first-team All-American Athletic Conference selection both seasons. He was the AAC's defensive player of the year in 2016 and was named the defensive MVP of the Peach Bowl, which completed UCF's 13-0 2017 season.

That he was not included on the initial list of combine invitees came as a surprise to many, including his twin brother,? Shaquill Griffin, a cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks.

"I feel like any other player who has the accolades that he has and everything that he's accomplished, he'd be the first person to have a combine invite," Shaquill told ESPN last week. "And you're going to tell me the reason why is because of his situation? That's not fair. I'm not sure what else he has to prove at that point. That's the reason why I stood up [for him], not just because he's my twin brother. He proved everybody wrong, he did everything he's done, he has all the accolades, he's a baller. I don't see why he shouldn't have a combine invite."

It's not uncommon for players to eventually receive invitations to the combine after being left off the initial list. That happened last year with Shaquill Griffin, a third-round pick by Seattle.

Still, Shaquem's combine snub was a storyline during Senior Bowl week.

"I would love to [see him at the combine]. I think he's earned it," San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch said. "I think everyone's watching closely. You talk to people at UCF, and they talk about a program-changer. A guy who is obviously inspiring, but not just inspiring -- who was a big-time contributor.

"So if you keep checking the boxes ... and this [week] was another box for him, and I think he's accounted for himself very well."

Griffin was credited with four tackles during the Senior Bowl game.

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