This weekend brought a long list of the nation's top talent in both the recruiting classes of 2013 and 2014 to Columbus as the Ohio State staff wanted prospects to see the best rivalry in college sports up close and personal.
Perhaps the biggest target on campus over the weekend was Woodbridge (VA) DL Da'Shawn Hand, the consensus number one overall prospect in the 2014 class, and a player many consider the best in the country regardless of class.
Hand holds offers from almost every Division I college football power across the nation, but right before arriving in Ohio's capital for The Game, cut his list of schools to ten. The schools that made the cut included Alabama, Florida State, LSU, Michigan, UNC, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, and of course, the Buckeyes.
Hand, 6-5/250, was originally going to be in Columbus for the Friday Night Lights event back on July 27, but decided to reschedule the visit for the Michigan game yesterday, driving in from Virginia late Friday night with teammate 2014 ATH Marcus Boone, as well as high school coach, John Harris.
Hand, Boone, and Harris all had a great time watching the Buckeyes come out with a 26-21 win over their hated rivals to the north, and the two prospects even got to hang out with current Buckeye and fellow Virginian Curtis Grant.
We caught up with Hand to get the scoop on his visit to Ohio State, when he may visit again, and much more. Keep reading to learn more about the nation's top overall player in the class of 2014, Da'Shawn Hand.
You were at the Ohio State-Michigan game yesterday. What did you do on your visit?
I got to meet the coaches and all of the people were nice. I got to see the campus and it was really cool. The game atmosphere was great, the fans were loud, the student section was really good, and it was a good game.
Which coaches did you talk to?
I got to meet the whole staff. The ones I talked to the most were Coach Zach Smith, who is my recruiter, Coach Vrabel, and Coach Meyer, for a brief conversation. It was just a good conversation. He wasn't pressuring me or anything.
What did you think of the game?
That game was really exciting and it was only my second game ever. You can see why it's a great rivalry.
Do you have any upcoming visits planned?
I plan on visiting every school in my top 10 by or during the summer. I am planning to cut my list to five schools before the start of my senior year.
Will you visit Ohio State again?
Yeah, I will. It will probably be sometime over the summer, but nothing is set yet.
Who's in your top 10?
[in alphabetical order] Alabama, Florida State, LSU, Michigan, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Virginia Tech.
When would you like to make a college decision?
I'm probably going to decide sometime close to National Signing Day 2014.
What will be the biggest factors in your decision?
Academics will be first as I want to major in engineering or sports marketing, depending on the workload. The football program is also important, as well as how I get along with the people, and I will also look at the campus environment.
What goals do you have for your senior season?
I just to keep improving as a player and win a state championship.