The one-handed athlete tipped for NFL stardom

Shaquem Griffin is more used than most to fighting for victory against the odds.

Born with a severe hand defect, he was left in so much pain that as a child he tried to hack off his own fingers with a kitchen knife.

The severity of his condition mean that Shaquem's hand had to be amputated shortly afterwards.

But he never let his disability stand in the way of his dream of making it as an American football star.

Now he's set to make history as the first elite NFl player with one hand.

Shaquem loved playing football from a young age, and was determined to make it his career despite his disability.

He was selected to play for his college team as linebacker, a position that requires the player to run fast rather than predominantly catch the ball.

And it's Shaquem's lightning speed that has got NFL recruiters interested.

At the NFL Combine - a showcase for college players hoping to break into professional teams - Shaquem completed a 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds, the fastest result from a linebacker in over a decade.

He is now expected to be snapped up by one of the professional NFL teams this week during the draft selection, the process which sees the sides pick their preferred players graduating from college.

The first two nights of the draft passed without a team selecting Shaquem, but he is hotly tipped to be chosen by a team this weekend.

Shaquem says he wants to be judged by his results. Credit: NPR

Shaquem has stressed that he is "not just a feel-good story" and wants to show his worth with results on the field.

But he hopes his story can help show others they can live their dreams - whatever obstacles stand in their way.

My purpose for me is to be able to set a standard," he told CBS broadcaster in the US.

"I want to start inspiring people and helping people be the best that they can be.