With National Signing Day quickly approaching, we're looking back at the high school careers of some of the region's top players in recent history.
Former Woodbridge High School defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand was a standout three-sport athlete prior to his full-on football commitment at Alabama and eventually the National Football League.
Rivals.com named Hand Junior of the Year to reward him for a season that saw him record 110 tackles, 16 sacks, 40 tackles for loss, two pass deflections, four forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries. The honor meant that Hand was rated the No. 1 prospect of his class entering senior year.
After racking up more than 30 collegiate offers and a slew of awards, Hand committed to Alabama to play under the great Nick Saban.
“It feels amazing [being done with recruiting],” Hand told the Washington Post in Feb. 2014. “It feels great. I’m so happy that it’s over. Now it’s time to just focus on school, training, work and being a kid. That’s it.”
During his four years in Tuscaloosa, Hand logged 71 tackles and nine sacks. Hand started in nine of the 10 games he played in 2017 and missed time due to a minor knee injury.
The Detroit Lions drafted Saban's four-year player with the 114th pick (fourth round) in the 2018 NFL Draft. After starting in eight of the 13 games he appeared in and logging three sacks, Hand was placed on Detroit's season-ending injured reserve list.
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