2021 has already presented a lot of firsts for Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Shaquill Griffin.
He became a free agent for the first time. He signed his first non-rookie contract. He came back to the Sunshine State as a full-time player for the first time in nearly five years. He joined a team with the first overall pick and a head coach entering his first NFL season.
But for all of those massive firsts, none compare to what Griffin will experience in Week 6 when the Jaguars travel to London to play the Miami Dolphins. And that special first won't be the trip across the pond, either.
Instead, it will be Griffin suiting up to face his twin brother, Miami Dolphins linebacker Shaquem Griffin, for the first time in his life.
"I can’t wait to see him. It’s going to be different. It’s going to be exciting to see. [It’s] the first time the Griffin twins going against each other, so y’all make sure you blow that story up because it’s on and popping when I see him," Griffin laughed on Wednesday when asked about the prospects of facing Shaquem for the first time.
From youth sports to high school football to college ball at UCF and then even in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks, the Griffin brothers have always done it together. Week 6 -- and 2021 as a whole -- is the first time they won't be doing it side-by-side. Instead, they will be on two opposing sides, each striving for the same goal.
The Griffins were each drafted by the same NFL team. They shared the same defense in college and the pros and far before then. But their NFL careers took different turns in 2021, with Shaquill heading to the Jaguars as a key piece of Urban Meyer's rebuild in March.
Shaquem didn't have an official home for the 2021 season yet until signing with the Dolphins last week. Up until then, there was no telling if the Griffin brothers would ever play against each other for the first time.
But now, Shaquem is donning the Dolphins' logo and Shaquill has an opposing one for the first time. The two brothers with an unbreakable bond will be able to test out their competitive spirits against each other at the highest level.
"Never besides one on one in the backyard or racing somewhere in the street," Shaquill said with a smile when asked if he ever competed against his brother.
Shaquill Griffin is one of the vocal leaders of the Jaguars' entire roster. He will be the lynchpin of the secondary in 2021, and the Jaguars have already made it clear he is one of the true centerpieces of their rebuild. He will have more on his plate in Week 6 than playing against his twin brother.
But Griffin also won't let the rare opportunity pass him by. In fact, he is already taking advantage of it.
"But I’m already talking trash, I don’t care. I told him make sure you have your passport ready because I need you to make sure you make it," Griffin said.
"I need no excuse. I told him I might walk up when he’s at warm-ups and push him down. So yeah, I already started my trash talk and I’m not changing."