Five-star recruit Joshua Kaindoh's announcement Monday that he is reopening his search and dropping his oral commitment to Maryland bumped the Terps down two spots -- from No. 11 to No. 13 -- in the Rivals.com's class of 2017 rankings.
It could ultimately mean that DJ Durkin’s second class might not even make the top 25.
According to Mike Farrell, national recruiting analyst for Rivals.com, Maryland’s class is ranked so high because the Terps already reached the prescribed number of recruits, 20, used to judge overall classes. It helped Maryland move up the ranks while other, more traditional football powers were still lagging because they had yet to reach that number.
Farrell said that the formula Rivals.com uses is based on the top 20 prospects in a single class, so schools that sign more players don’t have an advantage simply because of the numbers. Currently, Florida State and Florida have only 14 commitments each, North Carolina and Penn State have 15, and Auburn has 16.
“Right now behind them, there’s some pretty big programs that don’t have 20 yet,” Farrell said. “For Maryland to get any higher in the rankings, their 21st commitment would have to be better than their worst one right now. ...If you take the average rating of each kid in the class right now, you’re probably talking in the 28th-to-35th range [on signing day in February].”
If the Terps are successful at signing DeMatha running back Anthony McFarland, a four-star prospect who is reportedly considering Maryland and Miami, that could give Durkin a chance at having a top-25 class. Maryland’s highest ranking in the last decade was 29th in 2009.
The loss of Kaindoh, a 6-foot-6, 256-pound defensive end from Essex who is playing at the IMG Academy, is significant for the Terps. Even when the Terps were able to get wide receiver Stefon Diggs to commit and sign in 2012, they finished 36th nationally in a class that also included running back Wes Brown and linebacker Abner Logan.
“When you have a five-star kid and he’s ranked in the top 15 nationally [overall] that’s definitely a way to keep yourselves up there,” Farrell said. “When you get into that three-star average, which is where they are right now – they are averaging 3.05 stars – it’s typically 31, 32. They’re in the 28-to-33 range if they stay where they are. They have a lot of high-level three-stars.”
Right now, the Terps have only three four-star prospects – St. John’s High quarterback Kasim Hill, DeMatha offensive lineman Marcus Minor and Potomac High cornerback Deon Jones.
Farrell said it was a “tough sell” for Maryland, a rebuilding program, to keep Kaindoh from fleeing to a ready-made contender.
Farrell said that is not a done deal that Kaindoh will announce he’s going to Penn State, as has been widely rumored. Alabama and Florida State are other possibilities, he said.