UCF's Shaquem Griffin Nominated for Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award
UCF’s Shaquem Griffin is this week’s nominee for the 2016 Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award.
Griffin has played football with one hand since he was 4 years old, as doctors amputated his left hand then as a result of amniotic band syndrome, a congenital birth defect.
The 6-foot-1, 213-pound linebacker has enjoyed a breakout campaign for the Knights, as he leads the American Athletic Conference in sacks (8.5) and is third in tackles for loss (12). The redshirt junior also leads UCF with two forced fumbles and is second on the team in tackles (58).
Griffin — who has started all eight games this season along with his twin brother, cornerback Shaquill Griffin — delivered a standout performance in this past Saturday’s game at Houston, posting team-bests of 14 tackles, three tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and one fumble recovery. He also recorded his first career interception, and he earned league defensive player of the week honors for his efforts.
"It's an amazing feeling," Griffin said after the game of inspiring others, according to the Orlando Sentinel. "It's a feeling that everybody can't have and I'm blessed to have that type of feeling to be that faith, that positivity, that inspiration for others and not just for young people but for older people, men and women. It's just a blessing for me and I wouldn't change it for [anything] in the world."
The Courage Award was first presented by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) in 2002. A select group of writers from the FWAA vote on the winner each year. The requirements for nomination include displaying courage on or off the field, including overcoming an injury or physical handicap, preventing a disaster or living through hardship. The winner of the award will be included in festivities during Capital One Orange Bowl week and receive his trophy at an on-field presentation.
Previous winners of the Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award are Miami offensive lineman Hunter Knighton (2015), Duke offensive lineman Laken Tomlinson (2014), San Jose State defensive lineman Anthony Larceval (2013), Clemson wide receiver Daniel Rodriguez (2012), Michigan State offensive lineman Arthur Ray Jr. (2011), Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand (2010), the University of Connecticut football team (2009), Tulsa's Wilson Holloway (2008), Navy's Zerbin Singleton (2007), Clemson's Ray Ray McElrathbey (2006), the Tulane football team (2005), Memphis' Haracio Colen (2004), San Jose State's Neil Parry (2003) and Toledo's William Bratton (2002).
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