Once considered the top recruit in the country coming out of Woodbridge (Va.) High School, Da'Shawn Hand would love to return to the area and be reunited with former Alabama teammates.
For Alabama defensive lineman Da'Shawn Hand, if the Washington Redskins were to select him in the 2018 NFL Draft, it would mark a homecoming.
Before piecing together a college career with the Crimson Tide that will likely land him in the first few rounds of this year's draft, Hand played at Woodbridge (Va.) High School, which is a relatively short commute to both the team's headquarters in Loudoun County, Va., and FedExField in Landover, Md.
Hand's high school accolades reads like the program for an awards ceremony, highlighted by being the No. 1 recruit in the nation by Rivals along with being a Parade Magazine All-American.
"That would be a cool experience man, for real," Hand told Redskins.com of returning to the Washington, D.C, area. "Every time [I'm] on Snapchat, or like I get DMs [they say] like, 'Yo man, you think the Redskins are going to pick you?' and I'm like, 'I don't know.'"
Hand was among college football's most productive defensive players over the last few years, as he appeared in 41 games and recorded 64 tackles (13.5 for loss) along with eight sacks, one pass defensed, one fumble forced and one fumble recovered.
During his senior season, Hand was named a second-team All-SEC selection before participating in last week's Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.
Now he'll turn his attention to the NFL Scouting Combine before hearing his name called at some point in the draft. If the Redskins are the team that calls him, he'll not only return to the area where he attended high school, but would join two of his former college teammates.
In the 2017 NFL Draft, Washington, of course, selected Jonathan Allen No. 17-overall before dipping back into Alabama's talent pool with Ryan Anderson at pick No. 49.
While Allen was in just his first NFL season during the 2017 season, he flashed the potential of being a long-term impact player along Washington's defensive line. While at the Senior Bowl, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden noted that Allen is "the total package" and will only get better as time goes on.
All the tools that Allen displayed in his five games as a rookie Hand saw on a daily basis while at Alabama.
"He's just a natural athlete and he's got a gift," Hand said. "Just game in and game out, he always showed out no matter what it was."
Hand said the two have kept in touch on a frequent basis, often FaceTiming just to see how each other is doing.
"We just be talking mess," Hand said with a smile. "You know, just kind of kicking it, we're real close so we try to stay off of football."
As for Anderson, while the 23-year-old displayed a quiet demeanor in front of the media, Hand said he's "the funniest guy I ever met in my life."
"Man, listen. Just know that Ryan is by far the funniest man I ever met, but he has to know you though, he's not just going to open up to you, anybody, you got to get cleared by him, and then yeah, you get the laughs," Hand said.