Rivals.com top recruit DaShawn Hand buries friend, stars in win on same day

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

It's been a couple of weeks since we checked in on DaShawn Hand, Rivals.com's top national recruit and the subject of more recruiting attention than anyone in the country. Since then, his life has been turned completely upside down.

Nothing on the field has slowed Hand; he still torturing opposing offenses and leading Woodbridge High (Woodbrige, Va.) in a resurgent season. The difference now is that he's doing so without one of his classmates and close friends.

As reported here and elsewhere, 18-year-old Woodbridge linebacker Kenny Diaz was stabbed to death in a public park just hours after a Woodbridge win in September. The death was a shock to Diaz's family and teammates alike, few more so than Hand.

Yet Hand refused to sit down, instead mourning Diaz at a funeral one morning and then returning to action that night.

As Woodbridge head coach Karibi Debe told The Washington Post's terrific First and 17 series, "I don’t believe I was strong enough as a high school player to bury my teammate and to come out and play a game that same night."

Luckily, Hand was, as you can see in this week's edition of First and 17, above.

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