Sports

Shaquem Griffin Drafted by Seattle Seahawks

Griffin, Mike Hughes, Tre’Quan Smith and Jordan Akins were selected in the 2018 NFL Draft, marking the second time in UCF’s history four players were drafted in one year.

By Andy Seeley |
April 28, 2018

Griffin returned a fumble for a 20-yard touchdown against Austin Peay. The play helped to secure UCF’s 73 – 33 defeat over the Governors. (Photos by Nick Leyva ’15)

Shaquem Griffin had to wait longer than anyone wanted him to. But when he was finally selected, it was incredible news. Shaquem was selected in the fifth round with the 141st pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

“This is not the end of my road … it’s only just the beginning,” Shaquem said to ESPN.

In the end, it wasn’t the when, it was the who that made the story.

Shaquem was chosen by the Seattle Seahawks, reuniting him on the same football team with his twin brother. Shaquill Griffin was a third-round choice by the Seahawks one year ago.

“This is not the end of my road … it’s only just the beginning,” Shaquem said to ESPN. “And I’m going to keep proving people wrong because I have a lot of people to prove wrong — a lot of doubters. I would wait all over again for the opportunity to be back with my brother.”

Shaquem was a first-team All-American Athletic Conference selection each of the last two seasons. He was the AAC’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2016 and was named the defensive MVP of the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, which completed UCF’s  National Championship, undefeated,13-0 season in 2017.

Defensive back Mike Hughes was selected by the Minnesota Vikings, wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith was selected by the New Orleans Saints, and tight end Jordan Akins was chosen by the Houston Texans.

Griffin was one of four Knights selected in one NFL Draft for the second time in school history. Defensive back Mike Hughes was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round, wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith was selected by the New Orleans Saints as the 27th pick of the third round, and tight end Jordan Akins was chosen by the Houston Texans as the 34th pick of the third round. Hughes became the fourth UCF player selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. He follows Daunte Culpepper (1999, 11th overall), Blake Bortles (2014, 3rd overall) and Breshad Perriman (2015, 26th overall) as Knights selected in the first round.

The last time four UCF football players were selected in the NFL Draft was 2003, when Asante Samuel, Doug Gabriel, Mike Mabry and Elton Patterson were chosen.

Griffin becomes the 40th UCF player selected in NFL Draft. He is the 19th UCF defensive player selected in NFL Draft. He’s the third linebacker from the Knights to go in the NFL Draft. Here’s a look at the other two:

– Bob Spitulski (1992, 66th)
– Rick Hamilton (1993, 71st)

This is just the second time in UCF history that two defensive players have been selected in the same NFL Draft. Prior to Mike Hughes and Shaquem Griffin, it was Samuel (120th overall) and Patterson (259th overall) in 2003.

Four other UCF players signed to NFL teams over the weekend as undrafted free agents. Defensive tackle Jamiyus Pittman joined the Miami Dolphins, offensive line Aaron Evans signed to the Philadelphia Eagles, defensive line Tony Guerad joined the Jacksonville Jaguars and tight end Jordan Franks signed with the Cincinnati Bengals.