- Tom VanHaaren, ESPN Staff Writer
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Hand had been to Alabama a few times and built a solid relationship with the coaching staff.
"The campus life is amazing," Hand said. "I know half the team already. The coaching staff is amazing. Why not go where it's a great possibility you could win a national championship?
"When I took my visit, I took two visits. I got to see what the campus life is outside of football season as well as my official. I saw how the game-day atmosphere is, the culture. They have a winning tradition. They don't lie to you. I know when I go in I won't be No. 1 on the depth chart."
The Crimson Tide already had the No. 1 recruiting class in ESPN's class rankings.
Hand, along with offensive lineman Cameron Robinson (West Monroe, La./West Monroe), gives Alabama two five-star prospects, and 18 of the Tide's 23 commits are in the ESPN 300 rankings.
"The coaches showed him you can go into civil engineering and be an elite football player," said Hand's mentor, John Harris. "They made him a believer on that, and that meant a lot."