Da'Shawn Hand commits to Alabama Crimson Tide

Hand, one of the nation's top recruits, will play for the Crimson Tide in 2014. Photo: Britt McHenry

(WJLA) - Highly-touted college football recruit Da'Shawn Hand has a simple message for the nation: Roll Tide.

The Woodbridge High School senior who emerged as one of the nation's most coveted recruits announced Thursday that he'll go to Alabama.

Hand, a defensive end, is ranked as the nation's top recruit by and is in the top 10 on a litany of other lists, including ESPN and

"(I'm) playing with the best, and in order to be the best you've got to beat the rest, and that's how I like it," Hand said.

Several of the nation's powerhouse football programs lined up to court Hand, including Michigan, USC, LSU and Florida.

Of all things, Hand says he made his decision to pick Alabama over Michigan and Florida on a late-night trip to Wendy's.

"It was a long drive to Wendy's," he said. "It only takes five took 20 minutes to get there. I called all three coaches and had to just go with (my) gut."

Hand's mother said that her intuition led her to believe that Tuscaloosa was her son's destination all along.

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