Defensive end Da'Shawn Hand of Woodbridge, VA, rated by some analysts as the No. 1 player in the class of 2014, wrapped up a two-day visit to USC on Sunday and had nothing but good things to say about his experience.
"It was a great visit," Hand said. "[Jadeveon] Clowney is a fun guy, very genuine, very honest. I liked the entire coaching staff. The food was amazing. As far as football related facilities, every college has them, some are big and some are small, so that doesn't faze me anymore. The Dodie was very nice. I could see myself studying there."
Hand has also visited Alabama, Michigan and Virginia Tech and will visit Florida at some point. That is by no means a list of finalists as he will likely visit others. And he's not ready to start formulating a favorites' list.
"I'm not comparing and contrasting," Hand said. "I'll continue to take visits and then compare. I'm taking my time, having and enjoying my life."
Hand was joined on the visit by his head coach Karibi Dede and by Dede's teammate at Auburn, former Spring Valley linebacker Travis Williams.
"I thought it was a great visit," Dede said. "They did a really good job of giving a full picture of the program. He met with a professor about programs he's interested in and toured the campus. The opportunity to hang out with the players, and with Clowney, I thought that was a unique opportunity for him. He met with coach Spurrier. Coach ate lunch with Da'Shawn and I think it opened his eyes about how great a coach he is. And coach [Deke] Adams, it's obvious the players love playing for coach Adams and coach [Lorenzo] Ward. It was a great opportunity to see a school that will be competitive and have a chance to win the (SEC) East."
Dede said he will be working to get Hand to more schools he wants to visit including Florida and back to Alabama. Later this summer they will narrow the list to the final official visits. Dede can't say where USC fits in right now but the visit did nothing but help the Gamecocks in his opinion.
"In terms of just South Carolina, it was just a smash hit," he said.