Things have been quiet on the recruiting front of late for Da'Shawn Hand, and that’s by design. The nation’s #1 defensive end made a concerted effort last month to put football on the backburner.
“I haven’t been talking to any college coaches,” Hand explained. “I put it out that I wasn’t talking to any college coaches until March. I just took a break completely.”
“I’ve been enjoying being a kid. I’ve been doing school (and) hanging with my friends. I still work out and all of that, but I’ve just not been worrying about football as much. Last year at this time I was just stressing about combines and worrying about colleges. This year I’m kind of more laid back. I’m still working, but I’m more laid back as far as the combines and stuff. I’m just kind of letting (the recruiting process) happen.”
It was much easier to do so after settling on Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, and Michigan as his favorites. The narrowed list allowed his to focus more on the wrestling mat where he fell just short of a state title.
“I won district, placed second in the region, and (at states) I won the first round and lost the next two,” he recalled. “I went 40-5, so it was a pretty good season. But I’m not wrestling next year. That (sport) takes dedication, man! (Laughter).”
While Hand was concentrating on things other than recruiting, there was movement on the coaching front at the northern most school in his top five. His primary Michigan recruiter, Jerry Montgomery, departed for Oklahoma last week. Hand insists, however, that that development hasn’t changed the Wolverines’ standing on his list.
“I heard about it, but I’m not sweating it,” he said matter-of-factly. “Montgomery is a good dude, and that’s a good move for him, but I’m not interested in Oklahoma whatsoever. That’s how I feel about it. He is a good dude, but I like Coach Mattison.”
He feels similarly about soon-to-be Michigan freshman, and fellow Virginia standout, Derrick Green.
“That’s my man,” Hand exclaimed. “I met him last year at a camp in Virginia. Then I seen him (at a camp) in Atlanta and we clicked a little more because we were on the same squad. Then we both went to The Opening. Ever since all of those things we’ve just been clicking. We don’t talk on an everyday basis or nothing, but if I see him we get to talking. It’s good to know people that are going to the schools (on his list) because it helps you feel more comfortable.”
The five-star defensive end hopes further the comfort building process during an upcoming trip to Ann Arbor.
“I’ll get up there soon,” Hand confirmed. “I’m to Michigan on the 16th (of March)… that weekend. I’m going to stay there for the weekend for a practice.”
Stay tuned to GoBlueWolverine for more from Hand in the coming weeks.