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Nation’s top recruit Da’Shawn Hand commits to Alabama over Michigan and Florida

Sam Cooper
Dr. Saturday

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Da'Shawn Hand (Getty Images)

Da’Shawn Hand, the nation’s number one player in the Class of 2014 according to Rivals, committed to Alabama Thursday live on SportsDash with Yahoo Sports on NBC Sports Network.

At a press conference in the gym of Woodbridge Senior High School in Woodbridge, Virginia, the five-star, 6-foot-4, 260-pound defensive end chose the Crimson Tide on his 18th birthday over Michigan and Florida, ending months of speculation.

According to Rivals recruiting analyst Mike Farrell, “Hand is extremely athletic and agile and he's so hard to knock off balance. He's hard to get your hands on, but even if you do, he has an amazing knack to either keep his balance or recover very quickly to put himself back in the play. Hand is quick off the snap, he is an excellent outside pass rusher and he has the ability to make himself skinny on inside rushes.”

Hand, who claimed 94 scholarship offers, registered a whopping 110 tackles, 40 tackles for loss and 16 sacks as a junior.

Michigan was long-considered to be the favorite to land Hand, but citing Alabama's academics, championship tradition, and track record for developing NFL players, Hand opted to play for Nick Saban and the two-time defending national champions.

"I got to see to the campus outside of football at a camp, and I saw the game day atmosphere," Hand said. "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 is Alabama's 23rd verbal commitment in the 2014 class, a class that is currently the top-ranked class in the country, according to Rivals.

Congratulations, Da'Shawn.

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