Just days ago, Da'Shawn Hand was named the No. 1 football prospect in the 2014 class. However, his desire to best is nothing new.
“When I started playing football, my goal was to be the best that I could be,” said Hand. “First, I wanted to be the best at my school – then then I wanted to be the best at the combines – then I wanted to be the best at my position – and then the best overall.”
As expected, Hand’s recruitment has exploded over the past several months.
“I have lost count of how many scholarships I have,” said Hand. “I think I have around 70. I get 50 to 100 letters a day. Honestly, I don’t really worry about it. I know it seems weird for a kid to say that, but I’m honestly focusing on school and just enjoying being young. You only get to be in high school once, so you might as well enjoy it.”
Hand knows he could not have gotten to where he is alone.
“My inner circle is amazing –my friends and family are amazing,” Hand said. “I couldn’t really ask for anything else – everything is just great.”
Although Hand has played well this season, he insists he has not played his best.
“Even now, this year, my dad and I have this thing,” he said. “It’s five points per game. So, you have forcing a turnover, a sack, a tackle for loss, an interception, and a pass deflection. Those are the five things that I have to get. A good game to me is if I get five out of five. I haven’t had five out of five yet. I've had four out of five, but never five out of five. So, I’m going to keep striving for that.”
When asked what makes him such a good player, Hand, who does not like to talk about himself, quickly answered.
“Work ethic, and not worrying about all this attention,” Hand said. “I think a lot of players want to be ranked. They want to be in the press, the newspaper, the articles, and all that. I think the people who really just love football and don’t really care about all that stuff – it shows. Hard work pays off.”
Despite being the No.1 player in the country, there are a few areas in which the 6-foot-4, 260-pound defensive end feels he needs to improve.
“Pass deflections and bull rushing,” he said. “Everybody can bull rush, but I just master it to where I can dominate everyone.”
The five-star prospect is in no hurry to make a college decision.
“I don’t know when I’ll make my decision – whenever the time is right,” he said. “Ideally I would like to decide after my senior season.”