"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, the five-star recruit 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. Penn State may now be the favorite to land the 6-foot, 6-inch, 235-pound Kaindoh.
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 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.
According to 247Sports, there is now a 56 percent chance that the Lions will land Kaindoh. The other favorites are Maryland (20 percent), Notre Dame (12 percent), Ohio State (8 percent) and Florida State (4 percent).
With the Terps, Kaindoh would likely be a Day 1 starter. Kaindoh is 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.