Da'Shawn Hand has eliminated Virginia Tech and South Carolina from the running for his commitment, and named a final three of Alabama, Florida and Michigan. Hand, a 6'5, 247-pound defensive end from Woodbridge (Va.) High School, is either the first or second-highest rated recruit in the 2014 recruiting class, depending on which service you prefer. Many thought the in-state Hokies would have a great shot at landing him.
Hand spoke with SB Nation's Bud Elliott back in the beginning of June, and while he said that Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster was his favorite coach, he actually hadn't spoken with Foster "in a while." He also said that his favorite coaching staff was at Michigan. When asked why he eliminated Virginia Tech and South Carolina and named his favorites, Hand told Elliott this:
"I eliminated Virginia Tech because they don't offer a sports marketing program. And with South Carolina, the professor just didn't wow us. I have the utmost respect for Virginia Tech and South Carolina, and their coaches, and wish them the best of luck.
At Michigan, the [sports marketing] program was so impressive, I wanted to sign up right there. During my visit to Alabama, I met the dean of their [sports marketing] program, and it's an excellent program. He actually played football, and he gets it. And I haven't been to Florida, yet, but I've heard their defensive coaching staff and that defensive line with coach [Brad] Lawig and coach D.J. Durkin is amazing. And Alabama's engineering program was working on a $25M project when I was down there."
Hand didn't note if there was a favorite among the three schools, but up until this point, Florida's name hadn't been mentioned very often in connection with him. Hand could still take visits to LSU and USC and others at some point.