Nick Saban and Alabama have done it again – landed a marquee talent that will solidify the Tide’s recruiting class as the best in the country. The class already considered No. 1 by ESPN got even better Thursday when Woodbridge (Va.) defensive end Da’Shawn Hand announced he will play his college ball in Tuscaloosa, choosing the Crimson Tide over Florida and Michigan.
The 6-foot-4, 254-pound defensive end is rated among the top overall prospects in the country and is a unanimous five-star prospect according to major high school recruiting services. He’s a future NFL talent, and this is possibly the biggest recruiting win for Alabama this year. This guy had 37 combined sacks in his sophomore and junior seasons, and he will likely make an impact for the Crimson Tide right away.
Hand said he chose Alabama for its civil engineering program, the gameday atmosphere and the opportunity to play early. Not to mention he’ll get the best coaching in college football, play in the top conference (SEC) and likely have an opportunity to win a national championship.
In other news: Michigan head coach Brady Hoke has checked himself in for psychological treatment. Will he ever beat Saban at anything? The last time the two went head-to-head Alabama crushed Michigan 41-14 in the opening game of 2012.
Many thought Hand would choose the Wolverines, and it is possible he could flip before signing day. His commitment to Alabama isn’t binding until he signs a National Letter-of-Intent, which can’t be done until the first Wednesday in February.
But for now, Hand’s decision represents another upsetting loss for Hoke at the hands of Saban and the Crimson Tide. It’s hard to imagine which loss hurts worse: the whipping in Dallas last season or losing out on Hand’s commitment.