Consensus five-star defensive end Da’Shawn Hand officially visited Florida over the weekend and came away impressed with what the Gators had to offer.
“It was a great visit,” he said. “Good food. Good people. I enjoyed myself.”
The 6-foot-4, 248-pounder from Woodbridge (Va.) Senior gained a positive perspective on UF’s coaching staff despite Saturday’s loss to Vanderbilt.
“The coaches are very passionate people that care about their players,” he said. “They handle adversity well, even though they didn’t get the win.”
Hand’s host was Florida freshman linebacker and fellow Virginian Matt Rolin, who gave Rivals’ No. 1 overall prospect some important advice.
“We had so many conversations, the list can go on,” he said. “The big thing that stood out is he told me don’t listen to anybody else and make a decision solely based on what I want to do because it’s my life. He chose Florida even though everyone wanted him to go to South Carolina.”
Hand holds offers from all over the country and could have visited any school he desired before his decision this week. So why take a trip to UF given the current state of the football program?
“Well, Will Muschamp is a good guy and he has a great reputation,” he said. “Florida also has tradition and academics. They have every degree you can imagine. They had engineering, they had sports management, and they had journalism and communications, which I didn’t know I was interested in until I visited there. I’m very happy I did.”
Hand will announce his college choice Thursday at 12 p.m. ET on NBCSN’s SportsDash with Yahoo Sports. His finalists are Alabama, Florida and Michigan.