Former UCF Knights Shaquem Griffin, Tre’Quan Smith Turning Heads At NFL Combine In Indianapolis
By Andy Seeley, UCF Knights // March 4, 2018
Griffin Clocks In A 4.38 40-Yard Dash, Fastest 40-Time by a LB At NFL Combine
ABOVE VIDEO: University of Central Florida’s Shaquem Griffin clocked an eye-popping 4.38 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA (UCF Knights) – Saturday was a huge day for Tre’Quan Smith and Shaquem Griffin at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Smith shined in his testing, compared to many of the other wide receivers taking part. Griffin surpassed even his own belief in himself in the bench press.
Smith posted a 130-inch broad jump, which was tied for second best among the 37 wide receivers who tested. His vertical leap of 37 ½ inches was seventh among those same 37. While his 40-yard dash time was a little down the chart, it was still in the top half and it was below 4.50 seconds. Smith’s official time of 4.49 was good for 14th.
While Smith admittedly doesn’t see himself as a burner, the sub-4.5 40 and the explosive leaping ability probably helped his draft stock. He already has a reputation as a guy who will catch anything in his area.
“I’ve never seen myself as a speed guy,” Smith said. “I’m more of a ‘The ball in the air, it’s my ball’ type of guy.”
Smith said during his Combine press conference that it was important for him to get the invite to Indianapolis because of his decision to declare for the draft after his junior season.
“I’m taking full advantage of it,” Smith said. “I didn’t get a chance to talk to (NFL) coaches because nobody knew I was coming out.”
In addition to the measurables and the film he’s put together through three years of highlight-reel and game-breaking catches with the Knights, Smith’s confidence showed through during his time in Indianapolis as well.
ABOVE VIDEO: Tre’Quan Smith at Podium at the 2018 NFL Combine.
“My strengths as a player? I’m a deep threat, for one,” Smith said. “And my ability to go get the ball when it’s in the air, the 50-50 balls. I’m that guy when the team needs a first down or a big play, I’m that go-to guy.”
Meanwhile, Saturday was just the beginning of what may be a big three-day stretch for Griffin. For Griffin, Saturday consisted of the bench press and a press conference. By the time those two things were over, he may have emerged as one of the biggest stars of the Combine.
Griffin’s own goal was to press the 225-pound weight six times. His personal best in training sessions in Texas leading up to the Combine was 11. With the crowd in attendance cheering him on and adrenaline coursing through him, Griffin busted out 20 reps with his prosthetic on his left arm.
ABOVE VIDEO: Shaquem Griffin’s pumped out 20 reps on the bench press with his prosthetic handat the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis..
If @Shaquemgriffin doesn’t get drafted in the first two days the system is broken. Productive and performed well at the combine. Played well against high level competition.
— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) March 4, 2018
Shaquem Griffin with an unofficial 4.38 40-yard dash! And he wasn’t gonna be invited to the Combine a month ago… ha!
— Todd McShay (@McShay13) March 4, 2018
Shaquem Griffin killing it.
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) March 4, 2018
“It was amazing,” Griffin said. “Hearing the crowd, having the juices flowing, I felt it … I didn’t even know I had it in me, but it came out today.”
NFL Network analyst and draft guru Mike Mayock was noticeably emotional, choking up as he described Griffin’s workout on the bench press. Griffin’s mark in the bench press was tied for 11th among the 25 linebackers who participated.
Then, the ever-inspirational Griffin stepped up to the microphone.
“People are going to have doubt over the things I can do and obviously it started at the bench press. Some people didn’t think I could do three or five, some people didn’t think I could do the bench press,” Griffin said. “I went and did the bench press and competed with everybody else and did 20. That’s just one step closer toward everything I need to accomplish. There’s going to be a lot more doubters saying what I can’t do and I think I’m ready to prove them wrong.”
After wowing people on Saturday, Griffin will have the chance to continue showing them what else he has in his arsenal the next couple days. He will take part in linebacker testing and drills on Sunday. If his body feels right, he will show NFL coaches and scouts his defensive back skills on Monday. At worst, he’ll show them that versatility at his UCF Pro Day on March 29.
“It doesn’t matter, I’m going to get it in,” he said. “I came here and remembered what my brother told me last year: ‘What you put in is what you get out of it.’ One thing I can say is I’m not going to look back and say I didn’t put in enough. I’m putting everything I’ve got into it. I started off good and now I’m trying to finish strong.”
Griffin’s words resonated in the press conference room enough that one reporter was heard exclaiming he was ready to run through a wall, inspired by the UCF linebacker’s words.
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