Da’Shawn Hand down to three: Alabama, Florida, Michigan

June 12, 2013

Woodbridge junior defensive end Da’Shawn Hand eliminated Virginia Tech and South Carolina from his list of prospective colleges. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

Woodbridge two-time All-Met junior defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand, considered by Rivals.com as the top recruit nationally in the Class of 2014, attended his last day of school Tuesday. He celebrated by sleeping, but also made some news.

Hand, who for months had considered Alabama, Florida, Michigan, South Carolina and Virginia Tech as his top five schools, has dropped South Carolina and Virginia Tech from his list and has elevated USC and LSU to more serious consideration.

“I’ve kind of got a top five, but it’s really a top three,” Hand said, rattling off the three mainstays on his list. He has visited Michigan and Alabama but not Florida.

The call that Hand most dreaded making was to Virginia Tech assistant Bud Foster, whom Hand for months has mentioned as his favorite college coach. Tech does not offer sports marketing or sports management, Hand’s intended major, and Hand said “I did not have that gut feeling that I was going to go there.”

“It was hard, man,” Hand said of notifying Foster. “But I just had to get it done. He was surprised. He was upset. He wished me the best of luck and I wished him the best of luck and that was it. I’ve got the utmost respect for him and the Virginia Tech staff, and the same with South Carolina, but it just wasn’t the place.”

Hand told Rivals.com that he plans to take official visits to the five schools on his list and likely not make a decision until December or January unless “I feel it in my heart before then.”

Hand said that he is exempt from taking his final exams. He shared his grades on Twitter.

Recruit Watch: The latest offers, commitments and signings

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Brandon Parker | June 12, 2013