The 2013 recruiting class showed one of Michigan Wolverines coach Brady Hoke’s strongest traits is finding a way to get some of the nation’s best prospects to Ann Arbor.
He’s already trying to top his performance from last recruiting season with the 2014 class by getting the No. 1 overall recruit – Da’Shawn Hand – to schedule an official visit.
“We will be up there March 15-17,” said Hand’s assistant high school coach, per the Detroit Free Press. “We’ll probably get up there late on the 15th and come back Sunday afternoon.”
Not only would a commitment from Hand be historic – Michigan has never signed the No. 1 overall recruit for any class – but it would be monumental for its defensive front that ranked 78th in the country in sacks (22.0) in 2012.
Hand is a defensive end from Woodbridge High School in Virginia. At 6-foot-5, 250 pounds, he has the size and strength to terrorize opposing tackles at the next level. He has 4.6 (40) speed and an outstanding first step, allowing him to reach the backfield with extreme velocity.
With room to add some weight and still keep his versatility and quickness, Hand would be a great fit for Michigan’s base 4-3 under defense and could contend for a starting role if he enrolls next spring (pending a commitment).
Hand finished his junior season with 110 tackles (40 tackles for loss), 16.0 sacks, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries (per Scout.com). It’s safe to say he’s a game-changer.
In Feburary, Hand tweeted (@TheHand54) his top five choices for school in the following order: The Alabama Crimson Tide (surprise!), Florida Gators, Michigan Wolverines, South Carolina Gamecocks and Virginia Tech Hokies.
Hoke has some work to do to keep Hand away from some stiff competition, along with the other 20-plus major programs that have offered the five-star athlete.