Alabama, Florida in top three for nation’s top recruit

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I know what you’re thinking. It’s only news if the top prospects don’t play in the SEC. After all, the nation’s best defenses call the conference home. But the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect, defensive end Da’Shawn Hand, hasn’t been trending towards the SEC until recently.

Hand, from Woodbridge, Virginia, has been considered a Virginia Tech lean for quite some time. But things have changed dramatically in the last few days.

Hand’s new top three are Alabama, Florida and Michigan.

He has even eliminated two early favorites Virginia Tech and South Carolina from contention, and he’ll take his five official visits to Alabama, Michigan, Florida, USC and LSU.

Alabama is considered the favorite of the five. Tell me you’re not surprised. Hand does have a strong relationship with the Michigan coaching staff and could see himself playing for Florida’s defensive line coach Brad Lawing.

But the lure of playing for Nick Saban and Alabama may be too much to overcome. The Tide have had 36 players drafted since 2007, with 18 draftees being defensive players. Do I need to mention national championships, too?

Hand recently spent four days at Alabama, and he told Kevin Scarbinsky and Smashmouth Radio this morning that ‘Alabama knows how to put on a show down there’ and added that the Tide have the formula for greatness, via AL.com.

“I was down there for four days and it was great. They know how to put on a show. It’s just the town itself – everybody loves Alabama in Alabama, because there’s no professional team out there. It was just a great feeling. The food, the environment, the people, the teammates, the coaching staff, everything. They have a formula for greatness.”

Hand is the rawest, most explosive player in the 2014 recruiting class. His 4.6 40, combined with his 6-5, 260-pound frame, is just downright nasty. His frame and athleticism allow him to play tackle or end.

Photo Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

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