Woodbridge football Coach Kevin Smith this spring fielded a call from Boston College recruiting coordinator Mike Siravo, who was phoning to extend an unofficial scholarship offer to 6-foot-5, 230-pound defensive tackle Da’Shawn Hand.
Smith was taken aback. “You know he’s only a freshman,” he said.
“Oh, I know,” Smith recalled Siravo saying. “But if we don’t offer him today, we’ll never get him. You’re going to have a recruiting circus on your hands.”
Hand will be coveted not only for his size but for his determination and stellar grades. He is interested in pursuing engineering, Smith said. No college can officially extend a scholarship offer until Aug. 1 before Hand’s senior year, in 2014.
“His highlight film is pretty impressive,” Smith said. “He’s got a relentless motor. He doesn’t stop. On a few plays on there he’s being blocked and he sheds the blocks and goes downfield 10 yards and makes a play. He never gives up on a play.
“He’s got the total package. He’s the kind of kid that will stay grounded and keep working.”
It is a busy offseason at Woodbridge. Six-foot-7, 300-pound junior offensive lineman Matt Gray, who moved to Northern Virginia from Alabama before last season, also is receiving heavy interest from schools such as Stanford, Tennessee and several ACC programs. Gray went to Penn State’s spring game last weekend.
“We’re really blessed and fortunate to be getting this kind of attention,” Smith said.