5-star defensive end Da'Shawn Hand is one of the top high school football prospects in the country, and he will announce his college decision Thursday.
No. 1 recruit Da’Shawn Hand will announce college choice noon Thurs on NBCSN's "Sports Dash with Yahoo Sports." Alabama, Florida, Michigan— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) November 11, 2013
According to 247Sports.com's composite rankings, Hand is the nation's No. 1 strong-side defensive end and the fourth-ranked overall recruit. The site also lists Michigan, Florida and Alabama as his top three choices and has him at 6'4", 254 pounds with a 4.60 40-yard dash time.
Although LSU and USC are still in the running for Hand's services, it seems the aforementioned three programs are front-runners to land the talented prospect, who is making his decision on his 18th birthday.
Below is a breakdown of the TV information to catch Hand's decision live, along with a closer analysis of the Woodbridge (Va.) High School product's skills and what makes him so highly touted.
When: Thurs., Nov. 14 at noon EDT
Where: Woodbridge High School in Woodbridge, Va.
TV: NBC Sports Nework
Live Stream: WashingtonPost.com/sports
Highlights and Evaluation
The combination of size and speed is what makes Hand an intriguing prospect, along with the fact that his short-area quickness and fast first step allow him to be effective against the run.
Pass-rushing isn't Hand's area of expertise, but he still accumulated 21 sacks as a sophomore and 16 as a junior, per 247Sports.com, which makes him a complete package at the position.
Where will Da'Shawn Hand play college football?
With his height, Hand can work on improving his consistency in getting his pad level lower, but playing tall isn't always a negative, as he should be able to knock down passes at the line of scrimmage in college.
That is among the few criticisms of Hand in his ESPN.com recruiting profile (subscription required). That scouting report also lists him as a 4-3 defensive end and mentions he still has upside moving forward.
The sheer power with which Hand hits pops out on tape, and the fact that he already has such a muscular frame will help him have more of an immediate impact at the next level.
Hand has three excellent programs to choose from for the next stage of his career on the gridiron, and whoever nabs him should be getting a player who shines even as a true freshman.
Hand rarely takes bad pursuit angles or doesn't finish off a play when he has a chance to make it. His high motor combined with his innate athletic ability make Hand an exciting player to monitor as he progresses, but only one school will be able to call him their own after Thursday.