Kaindoh, a five-star recruit ranked as the second-best defensive end in the nation, plays at IMG Academy in Florida, but hails from Maryland. He announced his initial commitment to the Terps in May.
Kaindoh’s de-commitment is a big loss for D.J. Durkin’s first full recruiting class, which had been shaping out nicely. In the span of a few hours, they dropped from 15 to 20 in the 247 Sports rankings, although they sit at 13 on Rivals.com. Though they still have five four-star athletes committed to play in College Park next year, Kaindoh was their biggest coup.
Durkin still has a shot at landing Kaindoh, but Rivals’ Adam Friedman said Florida State, Penn State, Georgia and Alabama are all in the mix. For Maryland, fending those programs off once seems tough enough—to do it twice is nearly impossible.
The 6’6″ 235-pound behemoth will announce his decision at the Under Armour All-America Game on New Years Day, and plenty of ears will be tuned in to see his choice. Though it likely won’t be Maryland, the Terps have little reason to worry.
Their class is still in the nation’s top 20, a big accomplishment for a program that went 3-9 in 2015, and improved to just 6-6 this season. The last five-star recruit they snagged was offensive lineman Damian Prince back in 2014. Before that, Stefon Diggs in 2012. The Terps have not been ranked in the top 20 by Rivals since 2005, when Darius Heyward-Bey was one of their top recruits. To sit where they are at 13 is a testament to the improvements brought by Durkin and his staff. Players want to play at Maryland, and, as the program improves, so will the personnel brought in.
The Terps’ top recruits now include quarterback Kasim Hill, defensive back Deon Jones, offensive lineman Marcus Minor and defensive tackle Camaron Spence—a teammate of Kaindoh’s at IMG. Those players and more are part of the “stay at home” movement, and, while voicing support of Kaindoh and his decision, they stand firm in their pledge to Maryland.
As for Kaindoh’s decision, we won’t know where he is going until 2017. However, some eyebrows have been raised over his de-commitment coming shortly after a visit to Penn State. On that visit, he watched the Nittany Lions thrash Michigan State, and earn a berth in the Big Ten Championship game.
Will be taking an official visit to Penn State this weekend?⚪️
— Joshua Kaindoh (@_jkaindoh) November 23, 2016
In retrospect, this should have been an ominous sign for Terps fans.
However, though Penn State is one of the clear favorites, Florida State seems to have a good chance. Kaindoh will also be visiting Georgia this coming weekend, and will likely have plenty more suitors before his decision process is wrapped up.
Terps fans can be disheartened by the loss of a great recruit, but should be pleased with what Durkin has put together, with or without Kaindoh. And, should they be lucky enough, perhaps Kaindoh will end up in College Park next fall. But, that remains to be seen.