Mom approves as St. Pete Lakewood twins Shaquem and Shaquill Griffin commit to UCF

FootballSportsRichard Benjamin

St. Petersburg Lakewood defensive backs Shaquill and Shaquem Griffin knew UCF is where they wanted to go after visiting the school on Tuesday.

The twins just had to get their mother on board with them.

So on Friday, the Griffin brothers returned to the Orlando campus with their mother and got the OK to commit to UCF, giving the Knights their 11th and 12th verbal commits of the 2013 recruiting class.

"When it happened, I had a big smile on my face," Shaquem said in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel Friday.

The brothers said they were impressed by everything UCF had to offer.

“The campus is amazing and we really like what we see,” Shaquem told the Sentinel on Tuesday. “We’ve talked to a lot of their coaches, the trainers. We looked around the school, weight room and it’s amazing being in that environment.”

The brothers share a close bond and made it a point to commit to the same school, stressing to college coaches that they would be a ‘packaged deal.’ UCF head coach George O’Leary told the duo on Tuesday that they UCF would not take one without the other, something that appealed to the Griffins.

Shaquill Griffin (6-0, 185) is ranked as a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, which also rates him as the No. 47 cornerback in the nation. Along with UCF, he holds scholarship offers from USF, Vanderbilt, Illinois and others.

Shaquem Griffin (6-1, 185) holds offers from Cincinnati, Minnesota, FIU and others. Rivals.com ranks him as a two-star prospect.

A noteworthy fact about Shaquem is that he had his left hand amputated when he was four years old because of complications from a birth defect.  

But that hasn’t impacted is on-field performance.

Once glance at his junior highlight film reveals a ferocious hitter that fearlessly screams down to the line of scrimmage from the safety position to make one jarring tackle after another. According to his profile on beRecruited , Shaquem had 90 tackles last season.

The Griffin brothers represent a recent recruiting surge in the Tampa area for UCF. In July, the Knights added commitments from Tarpon Springs East Lake quarterback Pete DiNovo and Tampa Bay Tech receiver Richard Benjamin, both members of the Team Tampa 7-on-7 squad with the Griffins.

UCF also has verbal pledges from Seffner Armwood offensive guard Aaron Evans and Bradenton Manatee defensive end/linebacker Blake Keller.

Brendan Sonnone is the Sentinel's recruiting correspondent and can be reached at brendansonnone@gmail.com. Follow Brendan on Twitter at @BSonnone or Facebook at Brendan Sonnone or at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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