Few high school recruits can come into a college program and make an immediate impact on defense, but Da'Shawn Hand has the potential to do just that with whichever team he decides to go to.
Hand is a class of 2014 recruit from Woodbridge, VA. According to Matt Hayes of SportingNews.com, the senior defensive lineman is set to make his decision on Thursday.
There are a number of teams in contention for Hand, as mentioned in the previous tweet. According to Tom VanHaaren of ESPN.com, Michigan commits feel good about him joining the program.
Everyone asking about Da'Shawn Hand. His camp is keeping everything tight, Michigan commits are confident but not positive.— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) November 13, 2013
Rivals.com has Hand as a 5-star recruit and their No. 1 overall player in the country. His top three schools are Alabama, Florida and Michigan, which are all terrific programs. According to the Under Armour Game Twitter account, Hand has been selected as an Under Armour All-American.
Based off of what we've seen from him in high school, this young man could make any defense nearly unstoppable.
At 6'4" and 260 pounds, Hand is an ideal prospect as a defensive end. In his first three seasons of high school, he simply tore up opposing defenses, as you can see here.
In terms of physical traits, Hand is easily the most impressive player in this recruiting class. He gets through offensive linemen with ease, throwing them around like they're middle school players. Despite his size, he can blow by opponents with his impressively quick burst and speed.
The thing I love most about Hand is his explosion off of the line. He has a naturally quick first step and stays low out of his stance. Thanks to his strength and speed, this explosion as soon as the ball is snapped gives him a chance to quickly penetrate and take down the ball-carrier behind the line.
One of the more surprising traits about Hand is his discipline when coming off of the line. Normally for someone with his abilities, they love to go straight for the quarterback. Instead, Hand sticks with his assignment and focuses on moving straight down the line on running plays.
Where will Da'Shawn Hand commit?
Speaking of his ability to stop the run, Hand does a great job of stuffing the run and rushing the passer. He has accumulated a number of sacks in high school, but he also loves clogging up the rushing lanes and giving opposing running backs nightmares.
With his ability to do just about everything, he has the potential to move to defensive tackle at the college level. Honestly, he could probably play either position due to his all-around skills and physical talent.
There's not a more complete player coming out of high school in 2014, and Hand will be ready to play in college from day one. Wherever he decides to go, the program will be getting an elite defender for the next few seasons, and that will make them a legitimate contender in college football.