On Saturday, the Maryland football program received a commitment from five-star defensive end Joshua Kaindoh.
While Kaindoh’s pledge is big news in itself, it symbolizes so much more.
Kaindoh is the first five-star recruit for coach D.J. Durkin since he arrived at Maryland in December. It’s also the first five-star recruit that the program has secured a commitment from since Randy Edsall landed offensive tackle Damian Prince back in the 2014 class.
Prior to Prince, the last five-star recruit to come to College Park was none other than star wideout Stefon Diggs. Diggs was eighth-best prospect in the country as he came out of Good Counsel (Md.) back in 2011.
Another key factor that this commitment signifies is how far the program has come under the direction of Durkin in such a short time.
Despite only having two months remaining until National Signing Day in 2016, Durkin and his staff scrambled to put together a solid class. According to 247Sports, the Terps had the No. 42 class in the nation and the seventh-best in the Big Ten.
During Edsall’s tenure, Maryland never had a class that was better than 38th in the country. Considering how fertile of a recruiting ground the DMV is, Edsall clearly wasn’t attacking the region as hard as he could’ve been.
Meanwhile, Durkin has gotten off to a phenomenal start with the 2017 class.
While there’s still nine months to go before National Signing Day, Maryland has a very talented class that currently ranks 20th in the nation and eighth in the Big Ten. The class consists of a five-star (Kaindoh), three four-stars (Kasim Hill, Jordan McNair, & Cam Spence), and three three-stars (Fofie Bazzie, Ayinde Eley, & Andrew Park).
If the 2016 class is any indication, Durkin can really make some noise with an entire year to recruit a class and he’s already showing that early with the 2017 group.
Lastly, the impact of Kaindoh himself is huge.
Maryland has the top defensive end in the 2017 class coming to College Park, barring anything crazy happening. The 6’6, 256-pound defensive lineman has elite speed off the edge and will likely see the field right away upon his arrival at Maryland.
The Terps are getting one of the top players in the entire country, which is not something that Maryland fans have been accustomed to seeing in recent years. Only seven of the players ranked above Kaindoh are committed at this point.
Kaindoh brings a ton of athleticism to the table and continues Maryland’s pipeline with national powerhouse IMG Academy (Fla.). Kaindoh and Spence can begin recruiting some their highly-touted teammates to join them in College Park along with other highly-regarded recruits.
Obviously, Maryland still has a lot of work to do in terms of the 2017 class, but they are off to a tremendous start with this latest pickup.