4-star DE Joshua Kaindoh has a handful of programs coming after him hard in the aftermath of his decommitment from Maryland.
One of the 2017 cycle’s premier pass-rushers is back on the market after 4-star defensive end Joshua Kaindoh announced his decommitment from Maryland.
The 6’6”, 252-pounder—who is originally from Essex, Maryland—is rated as the nation’s No. 6 defensive end and No. 53 player overall in the 2017 cycle.
Will be announcing my final decision January 1st at the UA game!! pic.twitter.com/Us7ddFevbr
— Joshua Kaindoh (@_jkaindoh) November 29, 2016
As such, Kaindoh is likely to have his share of suitors lining up to pursue him.
Being that Kaindoh plans to announce his decision at the Under Armour All-America Game on Jan. 1., and the fact that he will be an early enrollee at the school of his choice, the next chapter of his recruitment should play out fairly quickly.
Which schools should fans be paying close attention to in his recruitment?
Let’s take a look at a few of the schools in the running for Kaindoh.
Alabama may have the nation’s top-rated recruiting class, but there’s a hole at the defensive end spot.
As Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports reported earlier this month, Alabama is expected to get involved with Kaindoh moving forward and could make a serious push to land him.
Kaindoh has already taken three of his official visits, with another one scheduled to Georgia this weekend.
While it’s never wise to discount Alabama in any recruitment involving an elite prospect, the Crimson Tide’s chances likely hinge on getting Kaindoh to visit Tuscaloosa either officially or unofficially.
While Kaindoh was committed to the Terrapins since April, the Seminoles never stopped pursuing him.
In fact, Florida State was able to get him on campus for an official visit on Oct. 15 for a home game against Wake Forest.
As Wiltfong noted, Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher and his staff were the first program to offer Kaindoh a scholarship.
IMO these are the teams that have the best chance to land Kaindoh:
— Adam Friedman (@RivalsFriedman) November 29, 2016
Should he elect to take his talents to Tallahassee, he could walk into a situation where he could compete to replace current ‘Noles star defensive end DeMarcus Walker—a senior tied for the national lead in sacks with 15, according to cfbstats.
Additionally, the Seminoles have only one pledge from a defensive end in the 2017 cycle—which means they should be one of Kaindoh’s most aggressive suitors in the coming weeks.
The school that will get the next chance to host Kaindoh on campus is SEC power Georgia.
As Rusty Mansell of 247Sports detailed, Kaindoh and 4-star defensive end Robert Beal—who is currently committed to Georgia—are good friends who played together for most of the year as teammates at Florida prep powerhouse IMG Academy.
Potentially forming a tandem with Beal could be appealing to Kaindoh, but the Bulldogs will go into the visit having to make up ground on some of the other schools in the running.
For now, the Bulldogs remain a dark horse hoping to take a huge swing at impressing him this weekend.
Shortly before he announced his commitment to Maryland, one school that had some traction with Kaindoh was Notre Dame.
Back in the spring, he admitted that the Irish program impressed him because of the combination it offered with football and school.
“[I’m looking for a school with] the [best] mixture of academics and athletics,” he told Bleacher Report earlier this year.
Still, to get back in the race, the best bet for the Fighting Irish is to get him back on campus, re-affirm their interest and firm up their pitch to him.
If Irish head coach Brian Kelly and his staff are unable to get him up to South Bend, Indiana, it likely ends the chances he ends up in their class.
Will be taking an official visit to Penn State this weekend?⚪️
— Joshua Kaindoh (@_jkaindoh) November 23, 2016
Aside from Florida State, Penn State seems to be the other program with momentum in its pursuit of Kaindoh.
As Wiltfong reported, Kaindoh took an official visit to Happy Valley for last weekend’s big win over Michigan State.
Made the @247CrystalBall flip to #PennState for five-star DE Joshua Kaindoh. More on that here: https://t.co/uT0DiO1yYq#NittanyLions#PSU
— Steve Wiltfong (@SWiltfong247) November 28, 2016
One advantage Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin and his staff may have over the Seminoles in this race is geography. Happy Valley is much closer to his home state of Maryland.
Plus, the fact that he re-opened his recruitment in the aftermath of his Penn State visit is another positive sign of where his process is trending.
However, expect the Tide, Seminoles, Bulldogs, Irish and perhaps a handful of other programs to push the Lions hard until Kaindoh makes his final decision.
Sanjay Kirpalani is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained firsthand and all recruiting information courtesy of Scout.com.