By Chris Hays | Orlando Sentinel
12:14 AM PST, November 20, 2012
St. Petersburg Lakewood twin defensive backs Shaquill and Shaquem Griffin said Friday night after the Spartans' 37-13 win over Bishop Moore, that they remain fully committed to UCF, but will still be taking official visits after the playoffs.
The twins plan to take visits with teammate and fellow UCF target WR Rodney Adams, to West Virginia, Houston and perhaps two others schools. UCF will be the final official-visit destination, which is all Knights' Coach George O'Leary asks of committed players who want to take other visits.
"He definitely told us that," Shaquem said of O'Leary.
The duo says there is no cause for alarm among the UCF faithful.
"Nah, they shouldn't worry," said Shaquil, who is 6-foot, 184 and plays a tight cover corner for Lakewood.
"We're committed and we're kinda real good with the UCF coaches and all the players and stuff," said Shaquem, the taller of the two at 6-foot-1, 183 pounds and he flies around in center field as the free safety. "We feel real comfortable there, so I don't think they have to get worried."
"So right now it just comes down to official visits," Shaquill said, finishing up the answer in true twin fashion.
Both Griffins play key roles for the Spartans and are the main reasons why it's difficult to get anything going in the passing game against Lakewood's stout defense. The Spartans have allowed 82 points all season, an average of just over seven points per game.
"We try to keep their head on right and stay humble, but we can't do it by ourselves. It's a team effort," Shaquill said of his Spartans defensive teammates.
Shaquem gave a little post-game talk to his teammates following the win over Bishop Moore, during which there were moments when the Spartans were losing a bit of focus on the field, resulting in a few mental penalties.
"I always give my team a speech ... keep their head on right," he said. "Without us being together and talking and saying the right things and doing the right things, we can fall apart as a team. As long as we stay together and play for each other, I don't think nobody can beat us."
Shaquem is the one who who had his left fingers amputated when he was four-years-old due to complications from a rare birth defect called Amniotic Band Syndrome.
The condition arises during pregnancy, when part of the amniotic sac comes apart and becomes wrapped around part of the fetus. The strand from the sac wrapped around Shaquem's left wrist, choking off further development of the fingers. The pain after birth became so unbearable, that the family finally decided to have the amputation procedure done when Shaquem was four.
It obviously, however, has not choked his development as a football player, and now the brothers are looking to make a mark on a college campus as a package deal, along with their good friend Adams. Florida held Adams' previous commitment, but things didn't work out with the Gators and he is now looking to latch on to a school with the Griffins, Three Amigos style.
"Me, my brother and Rodney are going to take some of the same visits and make our final decision on signing day," Shaquill said.
"We're like family so we might as well keep it that way," said Shaquem.
First, however, the Spartans will take on Tampa Robinson in the Class 5A region semifinals on Friday. Robinson is also 10-1 and has given up 100 points this year, about nine points a game. Robinson won the regular-season meeting between the Class 5A, District 8 teams 19-8.
"It's always a good time to play with each other," Shaquem said, "and just to have another chance to play against Robinson, if we play as a team, I think we can come out with a win this time."
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter at @Os_Recruiting and Facebook at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting and now on Pinterest at Orlando Recruiting.
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