Hand holding steady

Philadelphia prospect focused on three but would welcome further interest

For Derrell Hand, recruiting fell into a ‘typical' loop this month. He received regular telephone calls from his suitors and in-home visits from Wisconsin offensive coordinator Brian White and Michigan State offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland, representing the two schools most intently pursuing the 6-foot-4, 305-pound defensive tackle prospect.

Hand, a three-star recruit and the No. 40 defensive tackle according to Scout.com, however, yearns for more attention.

"As of right now I'm pretty interested in many schools," Hand said. "They are just not as interested in me."

"I guess pretty much right now it's Michigan State, Wisconsin and Notre Dame are my picks," he said. "I guess until somebody else calls."

Not to be mistaken, Hand certainly likes the Spartans, Badgers and Fighting Irish. But during a phone interview he did sound a little disappointed that previous suitors such as Miami (Fla.) and Syracuse have tapered off their recruiting.

"I was interested in Miami but communication was cut off," Hand said. "I haven't heard anything from them. I haven't talked to Syracuse for the last month."

Hand has taken official visits to Michigan State (Nov. 12) and Wisconsin (Dec. 10) and has a third official scheduled for Notre Dame Jan. 15.

The Philadelphia product said he enjoyed his trip to Madison.

"It went well. I enjoyed myself a whole lot. The guys on the team were great. Just really enjoyed myself," Hand said. "I got a chance to see them practice. The guys get after it even though it was bowl week. How hard they worked, how dedicated the coaching staff is to the teams…Just the coaching staff really helped me feel welcomed and at home."

Hand has also recently had the opportunity to talk to new Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis.

"It went well," Hand said. "He told me exactly what he's trying to do with the program and that they were still interested in me."

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