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Mario Chothen April 21, 2018

It’s New Year’s Day and I’m pumped up for college football, because all the really good games start after January 1st. This game in particular is the Peach Bowl between Auburn and Cental Florida. Auburn was an eleven point favorite according to the odds and betting lines. This was a classic David vs Goliath match, big bad Auburn Tigers the only team to defeat eventual National Champion Alabama. Against mid major Central Florida, who was undefeated coming into the game but, didn’t play a team in the top 15.  So, I’m thinking to myself Auburn is going to spank UCF up and down the field. There’s no way UCF is going to be able to compete with Auburn, boy was I wrong. In my defense UCF games weren’t really televised so much in 2017 so, I never paid them any mind. UCF ended up upsetting Auburn 34-27 and going 13-0 on the year which is awesome congrats to them. I came away from that game a fan of one in particular player his name Shaquem Griffin. Griffin is a star linebacker on UCF was the games defensive MVP.  He finished the game with 12 tackles and 1.5 sacks. What makes this feat so remarkable, is that Griffin only has one hand. Shaquem was born with amniotic band syndrome affecting his left hand, causing his fingers on his left hand not to fully develop. At age four, his mother found him in the kitchen, attempting to use a butcher’s knife to self-amputate his fingers due to the pain. Having one hand has never slowed his progress. At the NFL Draft Combine with a prosthetic Shaquem lifted 225 pounds twenty times and ran a 4.38 40 yard dash. In my opinion he is the best player in the draft this year that not enough people are talking about. If Griffin is not taken in the 1st or 2nd round of the NFL Draft, I as a fan and a writer will be very disappointed in every NFL franchise including my Bears. This guy has every tool you look for in a player. His lack of two hand hasn’t stopped him from getting to this point so, I hope NFL teams don’t use it as an excuse to undercut this young talent.