DE Da'Shawn Hand of Woodbridge, VA, considered the #1 player in the class of 2014, will attend USC's junior day Saturday. His coach, Karibe Dede, will drive Hand to Columbia Friday and they will stay thru lunch on Sunday.
"He's excited for several reasons," said Dede, a former Auburn linebacker who faced the Gamecocks in Columbia during his career. "It's a great program and staff. And when you have a kid like Jadeveon Clowney who plays the same position, you look at it and say this is a program which has the means to develop a player of that caliber. He's also excited about playing in a great conference."
Dede was just hired as the coach at Woodbridge seven weeks ago and has been trying to assist Hand his father in the recruiting process. And he's shared his experience at Williams-Brice Stadium with Hand.
"The introduction at South Carolina is one of a kind," he said of the 2001 entrance. "That place is electric. I told him it's definitely a place you want to go to on gameday."
Gamecock defensive line coach Deke Adams has taken an active role in recruiting Hand. The relationship dates back to last season when Adams was at North Carolina. "The familiarity between him and coach Adams presents a positive bond and relationship," Dede said. "Of all the people that's recruited him, coach Adams has gone about things the right way. He's genuinely interested in Da'Shawn. Coach has really reached out."
Hand has also visited Alabama, Michigan and Virginia Tech. Hand has also mentioned Florida in his top five but his coach says is not limiting himself to just those five schools at this point. "He will go to as many schools as he can and then decide on official visits," Dede said. "We want to give him exposure to as many places as possible."
The coach added that Maryland is also a possible visit for Hand, and he said other visits will be set up as schools reach out to them and invite them to campus. Dede said Hand has no leader and there is no timetable for a decision.