Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

UCF's Griffin Invited to Combine; Protests Planned for Super Bowl

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

UCF's Griffin Invited to Combine; Protests Planned for Super Bowl

Article excerpt

Byline: From Wire Reports

Shaquem Griffin is headed to the NFL combine.

The former Central Florida linebacker is continuing his magical two-year run, earning a spot among college football's elite 300-plus athletes working out for NFL officials in Indianapolis next month, first reported by the Orlando Sentinel.

Griffin's invitation comes just days after an impressive showing at the Senior Bowl, where he competed with fellow UCF players Tre'Quan Smith and Jordan Akins. Griffin recorded four tackles and was selected as the top overall practice player of the week leading up to the contest.

Griffin captivated the college football nation with his story of overcoming the odds playing football with one hand. He had his left hand amputated when he was just 4 years old due to a rare birth defect.

Hundreds of college standouts were invited to the combine, but Griffin was told he had not yet received an invitation when he first called the NFL about it.

He was told he could call back at a later date. Griffin placed the big call Tuesday and got confirmation he was invited to Indianapolis.

In addition to his strong performances on the field, Griffin earned the support of NFL coaches and front office staff who watched him during the week leading up the Senior Bowl, national columnists who argued the NFL was foolish for choosing not to showcase Griffin's infectious optimism in the face of adversity at the combine and fans who demanded Griffin receive a spot during frequent posts on social media.

The linebacker who can play various roles on defense and special teams had more than just UCF fans on his side, with players and fans from other teams showing their support online.

Protests planned for Super Bowl

Minnesota activists are using the Super Bowl spectacle to speak out against police brutality, racism, corporate greed and other issues.

Several rallies are planned this week, including a march outside U.S. Bank Stadium just before Sunday's game.

One group called Take a Knee Nation is holding a conference against police violence. The Minneapolis area has seen several police shootings, including the killings of Philando Castile and Justine Ruszczyk Damond. …

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