"Without further ado, I am very excited and eager to say that I am committed to THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND!" he wrote on Twitter, pinning the message. He included a photo with the words "THE FUTURE IS SET. MY COMMITMENT IS MADE."
Now his future is less set, and it appears increasingly unlikely that it will be at Maryland. On Monday night, he tweeted that he was decommitting from the Terps and would be announcing his "final decision" Jan. 1 at the Under Armour All-America Football Game.
It is not a stunning change in plans, but it is significant just the same. Over the summer, his mother, Diane, affirmed that despite Kaindoh's long and impressive list of suitors, he was College Park-bound. "My son is a man of his word. My son has chosen the Terps....... He is a Terp for duration of his College career," she tweeted in July. In August, he told 247Sports.com that his recruitment was "done."
That changed. After taking his official visit to Maryland on Oct. 1, Kaindoh traveled from IMG Academy (Fla.), where he has played for the past two seasons, to Florida State for an official visit two weeks later. His pledge was unaffected. Even as Kaindoh told The Diamondback, Maryland's student newspaper, that he was "coming home," rumors persisted anyway.
Over the past week or so, those whispers became full-throated expectations. As the Terps emerged from a brutal three weeks to secure their sixth win and bowl eligibility, Penn State moved toward a possible spot in the Big Ten Conference championship game and Kaindoh unpinned his commitment tweet.
This past weekend, Kaindoh took another official visit, to State College, where the Nittany Lions on Saturday defeated Michigan State and celebrated their shared Big Ten East Division title. The day before, Shane Simmons, a former DeMatha defensive end and current freshman at Penn State, tweeted at Kaindoh.
Kaindoh responded with blue and white emoji — Penn State's school colors — and a pair of eyes.
But perhaps most damning were not any words (or, sure, emojis) Kaindoh posted. Here was his Twitter bio before this weekend.
And here's what it changed to within the past 24 hours.
With the Terps, Kaindoh is likely a Day 1 starter. Just look at his highlights, and coach DJ Durkin's willingness to play freshmen. He's also close friends with Maryland commit Cam Spence, a former Gilman standout and four-star defensive tackle recruit. Spence visited Penn State this weekend, too. Kaindoh's change in plans might well destabilize Spence's future.
For Durkin, the optics are just as important as Kaindoh's standing in the class, maybe more so. Last recruiting cycle, as Durkin filled out a coaching staff that would not come to include ace recruiter and former interim head coach Mike Locksley, the Terps hoped to hold on to Good Counsel linebacker Keandre Jones and Dwayne Haskins, both top-100 recruits.
Haskin once had been a vocal leader of "The Movement," a push to get the state's top recruits to Maryland. In mid-January, he announced along with Jones that he would be signing with Ohio State, calling it a "dream of mine" to play for the Buckeyes.
That's life for the Terps in the Big Ten. Double your win total from 2015, go to a bowl game, unleash your revamped and high-energy coaching staff on recruits, and even dream commits can turn into nightmares down the road. The future is never set.