Da'Shawn Hand, the No. 1 overall recruit for the 2014 class (per 247Sports), is planning on taking an unofficial visit to the University of Michigan.
According to Tom VanHaaren of ESPN Recruiting Nation on the WolverineNation message board, Hand is planning on visiting in mid-March:
2014 DE Da'Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge) is confirmed for his visit to Ann Arbor. Hand will be visiting Michigan on March 15-17, they will get in late on the 15th then leave Sunday afternoon.
The importance of this visit absolutely cannot be understated for the Wolverines and it's imperative for Michigan to make a great impression. Hand also has interest in Virginia Tech, Alabama, Florida and South Carolina.
Simply put, Hand has the potential to be a superstar at the college level. He's 6'5'', 247 pounds and runs a 4.60 40.
Really take a moment to fully grasp how athletic he is as just a junior in high school. He has great size for a defensive end, but he combines that with the speed of many running backs at the college level. He's strong enough to play tough against the run and set the edge, but where he'll really excel is as a pass-rusher because of his speed and technique.
Michigan really needs to do everything it can to make the perfect pitch to Hand, because this impression could end up being lasting.
It shouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how important landing the nation's No. 1 overall recruit would be for Coach Hoke, the 2014 class and the state of the Michigan football program in general.
Hoke has orchestrated a revival of the Michigan program and many would argue that the Wolverines are on the cusp of reclaiming the greatness that they've become famous for. "Leaders and the best" has just been a line in the fight song for a while now, but this Michigan program is on the edge once again and landing a recruit like Hand could put it over.
That's honestly the strongest pitch Michigan could make Hand.
Michigan is a national program that receives a fair share of the national spotlight during college football season, so Hand would have the a chance to make an impact on the big stage. Being the recruit that helps take Michigan football from good to great? That's a huge draw.
If Hand were to commit to Michigan, other recruits would undoubtedly follow. With the success that Hoke has had in his past two cycles on the recruiting trail, the Wolverines program would be set up to be dominant.
Michigan would project to compete with the likes of Ohio State, Florida and Alabama for national championships and Hand could be one of the marquee players for the program.
Hand has the potential to be the next truly transcendent Michigan football player. The school has a rich history of football greatness and the players that contributed to that are held in extremely high regard.
The chance to be mentioned amongst the likes of Charles Woodson, Desmond Howard, Jake Long, Braylon Edwards, Mike Hart, Tom Brady (sort of), Chad Henne, Mario Manningham, Leon Hall and LaMarr Woodley is an honor indeed, and believe you me, Hand possesses that kind of potential as just a junior in high school.
Those are all players that are revered in Michigan's history and thoroughly respected in Michigan's present. Tradition is of great value at Michigan and Hand would have the chance to join an illustrious group.
Also consider the top-notch academics, a great campus life, a true "college city" in Ann Arbor and a national fanbase, and there's truly not much (if anything) to dislike about Michigan football.
The Wolverines certainly have a great pitch and it's one that's going to have to hit the mark during this unofficial visit.
Hand could drastically impact the future of Michigan's football program and help the Wolverines go from good, to great, to elite.