Can UM Snag DT Prospect?

As his team gears up for the private school state championship game this weekend, defensive tackle Derrell (pronounced Da-rell) Hand is in the process of enjoying a banner senior season.

At 6-foot-4 and 305 pounds, the Philadelphia (Pa.) West Catholic standout has been playing both ways all season. He's been a four-year starter. He was asked what makes him different than a lot of other tackle prospects.

"I just go play hard each week," Hand said. "I think it's my talent that gives me the edge out there."

Hand, who will play basketball after the season, has been getting lots of recruiting attention this season. He's already been on one visit and plans on taking three or four more.

"I went to Michigan State already and it was beautiful," he said. "It's a great school and I had a really good visit. They're right near the top. On the 10th I go to Wisconsin and then the week after that I'm going to Miami. I'm also talking to Syracuse and Iowa about setting up trips to go there."

Hand, a full academic qualifier, talked more about the Hurricanes.

"I just was watching them over the years and I've realized what a great program they have down there," he said. "It's amazing the amount of success they've had. They're going through some hard times right now but they'll be back because they're pretty much a contender every single season. They're trying to get me and Marquise (Slocum, an O-Line teammate)."

Hand, who does not yet have any in-home visits scheduled, talked about the competition he'll face at the college level.

"I know wherever I go I'll have competition," he said. "Of course a place like Miami will have more guys to beat out but that shouldn't be a problem."

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