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Tuesday, July 2, 2013
With pads on, top DE Hand stands out

By Tom VanHaaren

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- On Tuesday at The Opening, the linemen finally got a chance to go one-on-one and show who's best. The linemen challenge put the big men in pads and let them battle in the trenches.

Since pads were involved, the defensive linemen didn't dominate the event. The offensive linemen had a chance to get their hands on the rushing player and make it a true battle. The offensive side seemed to have the better day, but defensive end Da'Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge) was one of the few defensive players that stood out.

"I missed that," he said about playing in pads. "It's different with pads on, because you can bull rush. It kind of equals it out for both sides, but then you have offensive linemen that hold, so it goes both ways."

The No. 4 player in the country showed his explosiveness and strength in the drills and came out on top in a good number of his reps.

Spectators were patiently anticipating Hand facing off with No. 3 ranked guard, Damien Mama (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco). The two top prospects got their chance, and Hand held his own against the 6-foot-4, 370-pound lineman.

"It was just another rep for me. He's a quality player," Hand said. "He's a good lineman, and you have to be on your toes with him. You have to be on your A-game, because everybody's good out here."