Q&A: 2014 Star Da’Shawn Hand

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In just two years of high school, Woodbridge (VA) defensive end prospect Da’Shawn Hand has a long list of accomplishments.  Here are a few of note:

– As a freshman, he was sent up to the varsity after four games on the junior varsity.  He finished the season with 63 tackles and three sacks, earning second-team all-Cardinal District honors

– Starting with Boston College, he earned five college scholarship offers his freshman year

– Had 84 tackles including 21 sacks as a sophomore in 2011, earning first-team all-metro honors by the Washington Post

– Was named first-team all-combine by Rivals.com at the U.S. Army All-American Combine in January of 2012

– Among other accomplishments on the 2012 combine circuit, Hand has been invited to compete in a pair of national combines, Nike’s The Opening and Rivals’ Five-Star Challenge

– Now has over 30 college scholarship offers, including Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, South Carolina, Stanford, Virginia and Virginia Tech

All this is obviously extremely impressive, especially when you consider the fact that Hand has only played organized football for three years.

“I didn’t start playing football until the 8th grade,” said Hand, a Philly native.  “I wanted to be a wide receiver because I was tall and fast, but they put me on the line because I was strong.  My first hit, I really crushed the other player.  I found out I loved to hit people.  Then I thought, ‘Yeah.  I’m a defensive player.'”

Hand went from 6’4″, 190 pounds as a freshman to 6’5″, 245 pounds as a sophomore.  In a year’s time, he has improved his 40 time from 4.8 to 4.6 seconds, and his max bench press from 165 to 340.  Just over three months until the start of his junior season, the Vikings star is very much a possibility to be the top prospect in the country in 2014.


TECHSIDELINE:  Recruiting is so highly publicized these days.  Your name certainly is out there, and I’ve seen you do many interviews.  Is there anything you have learned — whether it’s knowing what to say versus what not to say, how to act, or anything else — since you started doing interviews?