Florida Gators a Finalist for 2014 No. 1 Recruit Dashawn Hand

By Patrick Schmidt
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Florida had a top-three recruiting class in 2013 highlighted by five-star recruits Vernon Hargreaves III and Kelvin Taylor, and the class of 2014 is already starting to take shape and could include the top ranked player overall, Dashawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va., Woodbridge).

Hand listed his five finalists earlier in the week and Florida is on the list. If the Gators are able to land the 6-4 245-pound defensive end would be the best player to come out of Virginia and head to Florida since Urban Meyer was able to bring Percy Harvin to Gainesville.

The National Junior of the Year according to RecruitingNation.com, Rivals.com and others,  Hand will have no shortage of suitors. He already holds offers from 32 colleges, but the offer from Florida could be one that proves to be the one that stands out.

The reason for that is a result of the recent hiring of former South Carolina defensive line coach Brad Lawing. Hand said if Lawing weren’t at Florida, that he wouldn’t be considering Will Muschamp’s Gators, so the relationship between the two could be the reason he ends up a Gator and not at one of his other suitors.

Hand will be the fifth straight defensive end to rank as the top player in the recruiting ranks joining Robert Nkemdiche, Mario Edwards, Jadeveon Clowney and current Gator Ronald Powell before him.

Hand’s high school stats are pretty mind-boggling as you would expect of a recruit that is the tops in the country, and over the last two seasons he has combined for 194 tackles, 54 tackles for loss and 37 sacks.

Follow me on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt

Patrick is the host of “The Wake-up Call,” on Sportstownchicago.com airing Wednesday mornings from 8-10. View his show’s website here.

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