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November 14, 2013

Da'Shawn Hand picks Alabama

Michigan was set to become the first program in Rivals.com's history to land the nation's No. 1 and No. 2 players when top prospect Da'Shawn Hand of Woodbridge (Va.) Senior High announced today. Instead, Hand chose Alabama in somewhat of a stunner.

Michigan had been the frontrunner since summer, but a recent trip to Alabama muddied the waters a bit. Assistant coach John Harris said back in September his standout was different than most recruits in what he was looking for in a school.

"He looks at a lot of small things that you wouldn't expect a 17-year-old to look at," Harris said. "When we were at Michigan for the first day of spring ball, nobody was in a rush to get out of there after practice. The players actually want to be there, hanging around. That shows they like the coaches, and the coaches really are what they say they are. You wouldn't expect a 17-year-old kid to pick that out."

Hand notched 110 tackles, 40 tackles for loss, 16 sacks and three fumble recoveries in his junior year after breaking out with 84 tackles, 14 TFLs and 21 sacks as a sophomore. He runs the 40 in 4.7 seconds and secured his No. 1 ranking with an outstanding showing on the camp circuit this summer.

The Wolverines do have the No. 2 prospect nationally in Jabrill Peppers of Paramus (N.J.) Catholic, a 6-1, 210-pound safety.

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