Rated as the No. 1 player in the Class of 2014 by a handful of recruiting websites, Da’Shawn Hand dropped a bit of news recently by surprisingly dropping a pair of schools from his future college to-do list.
The Woodbridge, Va., defensive end announced that South Carolina and Virginia Tech are no longer in his top five. Hand’s new top three consists of Alabama, Florida and Michigan.
“I spoke to Bud Foster at Virginia Tech and that was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do.,” Hand said according to Rivals.com. “And Deke Adams at South Carolina is a great person as well and that was difficult. Making those calls, especially to coach Foster, was the hardest thing I’ve had to do so far.”
Oddly enough, it appears the academic side of the equation played a role in Hand scrubbing the two schools from his list.
“I am pursuing a major in Sports Management or Sports Marketing, and Virginia Tech doesn’t offer that,” said Hand. “And I didn’t get a good feel for the professor at South Carolina, I just didn’t feel it.”
Hand said he has no favorite at this time, choosing to list his top three in alphabetical order. The 6-4, 248-pound lineman has already visited the Tide and Wolverines but hasn’t yet done the same with the Gators, although a future trip to Gainesville is in his plans.
While Hand has whittled his choices down to three, it doesn’t appear it will stay that way for long; in announcing that he had dropped the Gamecocks and Hokies, Hand revealed that he’s “also interested in LSU and USC.” Those two schools — which he described as being on the “outside looking in” — will be a part of Hand’s five official visits.
Hand, who said he hoped to make a verbal commitment at some point in December, added that those are also the only schools he will consider moving forward.
“This is my final list, I’m not open to any other teams,” the recruit said.