Defensive end Da'Shawn Hand - the No. 1 football recruit at any position, according to Rivals.com - announced that he will be playing his collegiate ball at Alabama.
Originally a native of Philadelphia, Hand is in the midst of his senior year at Woodbridge High School in Woodbridge, Virginia. Hand goes at a massive 6'4'', 262 pounds, while he was clocked running a 4.95 forty-yard dash. Though he may not be a lightning fast pass rusher off the edge, he does have an incredibly explosive first step and combines his speed with impressive power to take advantage of opposing linemen.
Here are some of Hand's high school highlights. I apologize for the quality of the video, but it was the best I could find. You should still be able to get a sense of this kid's great jump off the line of scrimmage:
Hand picked Alabama over a long, long list of schools, the most notable being Michigan and Florida. Michigan was considered the favorite, but Alabama eventually became more appealing to Hand. "The campus life is amazing," Hand said of Alabama. "I know half the team already. The coaching staff is amazing. Why not go where it's a great possibility you could win a national championship?"
In addition to the recent success of Alabama football, Hand liked the program because of their honesty. "They don't lie to you. I know when I go in I won't be No. 1 on the depth chart," he said. Hand also was encouraged by the number of freshmen who have been getting playing time for the Crimson Tide this year.
Finally, there was the school's engineering program that had Hand fascinated with the prospects of attending Alabama. Hand wants to go into civil engineering, and the Alabama coaching staff showed him how he could become proficient in that field while also becoming an elite football player.
Alabama gets another top recruit, giving them 23 total commits, including 18 players from ESPN's top 300. Alabama is not dropping out of the rankings any time soon, folks.