For the second straight recruiting cycle, Maryland football fans have been served a harsh reminder of the value of a verbal commitment.
In January, prized quarterback recruit Dwayne Haskins flipped his commitment from Maryland to Ohio State, robbing the Terps of a huge talent at a position of need. On Monday, five-star defensive end Joshua Kaindoh, the Terps’ biggest commit since Stefon Diggs, announced his decommitment from Maryland.
Will be announcing my final decision January 1st at the UA game!! pic.twitter.com/Us7ddFevbr— Joshua Kaindoh (@_jkaindoh) November 29, 2016
Rumors had been swirling for days about Kaindoh’s situation. He took down any Maryland references from his Twitter page after visiting Penn State last weekend, and didn’t wait long to make his announcement.
It’s unclear exactly which teams Kaindoh will be choosing from when he makes his final decision, so Maryland could still be in the mix. But things don’t look promising for the Terps.
This kind of thing happens in recruiting. Verbal commitments are not binding, and players often reconsider where they should attend school.
Maryland head coach DJ Durkin surely sold Kaindoh on the promise of the future, given that his team wouldn’t be competitive right away, and the excitement of playing in front of his family at every home game. And while Maryland started strong with an easy early schedule this season, the Terps fell hard once conference play hit. They grabbed a win against a sinking Michigan State team, and then got pummeled by Michigan, Ohio State and Nebraska in consecutive weeks.
Kaindoh committed to Maryland in April, giving Durkin a huge prize to build his first full class around. Kaindoh’s commitment was doubly surprising because not only did he commit to Maryland over a host of other blueblood schools, but he did so after releasing a top four list that didn’t include the Terps.
Now Durkin and his staff will have to scramble to prevent other top commits, like four-star defensive tackle Cam Spence and four-star quarterback Kasim Hill, from following Kaindoh’s lead.