UCF Football: Shaquem Griffin is Knights’ 2017 Defensive MVP

(Photo by Jason Behnken / Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Behnken / Getty Images) /

UCF Football had a storybook season and it would not have been possible without the heroic efforts of senior linebacker Shaquem Griffin.

Quarterback McKenzie Milton was the Knight’s offensive MVP. But now it’s time to look at the Knight’s defensive unit. UCF finished the regular season undefeated. They have a chance to give Auburn their fourth loss of the season in the Chic-fil-A Peach Bowl.

The Knights weren’t world beaters on defense, but they made enough plays to effect the game. They are 52nd in the nation in scoring allowing 25.2 points per game.

Senior linebacker Shaquem Griffin had an amazing season in 2017 if you have followed his career he started at safety, but during his junior year he moved to linebacker and flourished. If you feel like you have heard the name Griffin attached to a UCF player forever you aren’t crazy his brother Shaquill Griffin played cornerback for the Knights until last year and is currently starting in the NFL for the Seattle Seahawks.

Griffin is a warrior he makes plays as a pass rusher and in the running game. Don’t be fooled because of the absence of his left hand. He is a playmaker. If the Knights need a big play it always seems as if Griffin is around the ball he leads by example and emotionally. How could you not be fired up to play with a guy who won’t let a defect hold him back?

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Griffin amassed 62 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, one interception, three pass break ups, nine quarterback hurries, two fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles in 2017. He was named to the AFCA FBS Coaches’ All-American Second Team and made first team All-AAC. What can you say, Griffin is a baller.