Da'Shawn Hand decision adds one of nation's top recruits to Tide

Da'Shawn Hand, one of the nation's top-rated high school football recruits, made an oral commitment to Alabama over Michigan and Florida Thursday at Woodbridge (Va.) High. Hand made one of his five allowable official visits to Alabama the weekend of Oct. 25, when the Crimson Tide hosted top recruits to witness a 45-10 win over rival Tennessee.

While Hand is Rivals.com's No. 1 prospect, he is No. 4 on 247 Sports' consensus list of the nation's top recruits. On that list, West Monroe (La.) High offensive tackle Cameron Robinson is No. 1 -- and he already has chosen Alabama. Going into Wednesday, only four of the nation's top 10 had made their college decision.

Hand, a defensive end, visited Michigan in September and Florida last weekend, when UF lost at home to Vanderbilt.

"I got to see to the campus outside of football at a camp, and I saw the game day atmosphere," Hand said, according to Rivals.com. "I know I'm not going to be No. 1 on the depth chart. It was hard, but I think I made the right decision. Roll Tide."

Hand (6-foot-4, 260 pounds) could be an ideal skill fit for the Jack position in Nick Saban's defense, a designated pass-rushing linebacker role that Saban places into the hands of front-seven playmakers such as Jason Taylor with the Miami Dolphins, and Courtney Upshaw at Alabama.

"He is going to be special in college, and he is going to be special in the NFL," said Rivals.com national scouting director Mike Farrell.

Rivals.com's live web production of the announcement indicated Hand drew scholarship offers from 94 schools beginning from his ninth-grade year of high school. Coaches aren't allowed to comment publicly about recruits until they sign paperwork in February when the NCAA signing period begins. But for some ideal perspective on what Nick Saban's reaction to the news might be, leave it to @CecilHurt of The Tuscaloosa News.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread.*

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