Each day at IMG Academy, Maryland football defensive end commit Joshua Kaindoh has the same routine. He wakes up for class at about 6 a.m. and then has lift, position and team meetings, and practice. He ends the day with his teammates at dinner and study hall.
That process has helped mold Kaindoh into the top recruit in coach DJ Durkin's first full class. The five-star defensive end committed to the Terps on April 30 after his former IMG teammate, Cam Spence, pledged to the program about three weeks earlier.
The 6-foot-6, 256-pound high school senior, who has 34 tackles, nine for a loss, and a team-high 7.5 sacks through six games with the Ascenders this season, has one goal: get better every day.
"I never settle, even if I feel like I'm doing well," Kaindoh said. "It'll only make me better."
Before arriving at IMG after his sophomore season at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel High School in Essex, Kaindoh's talent shined.
When he was 6 years old, an opposing coach told him he would love to coach him in the NFL, his mother, Diane Kaindoh, said. At 14, he broke his wrist, and his mom said his team "died without him." Parents asked her when he would return.
But his mother admits he's grown as a player since moving to Bradenton, Florida, with IMG coach Kevin Wright overseeing his growth.
When Kaindoh arrived at IMG, he was raw, accustomed to beating offensive lineman on sheer strength and speed, Wright said. Once he joined the Ascenders, he excelled under instruction from defensive line coach Ernie Logan, an NFL veteran, and became more fundamentally sound, Wright said.
"He really came a long way with technique and football IQ," Wright said. "Now, he knows how to do the little things, like how to use his hands, how to read blocks and how to use different moves."
Part of what helps Kaindoh improve is his drive. His mom recognized his love for the sport when he was a child, and the passion has pushed him through the years, Wright said.
"He's very intrinsically motivated," Wright said. "He's a cerebral player who is hungering to get better."
After coaching him for about two seasons, Wright believes Kaindoh can still improve, noting Kaindoh's passion and adding muscle will benefit him in College Park. Plus, the coach believes the rigorous curriculum and daily schedule at IMG has helped Kaindoh prepare for his college schedule.
He plans to enroll at Maryland in January, joining Durkin, whom he met when the coach was the defensive coordinator at Michigan, a semester early. After Durkin took over the Terps program in December, their relationship grew. Kaindoh was drawn to the coach's energy and "loved his vibe."
"It's easy to go to a top dog and just do that," Kaindoh said. "I want to help build us up. It's going up."
The decision to become one of the cornerstone recruits in the Terps' rebuild will also allow Kaindoh to return to the area he grew up in after two years in Florida.
"I'm coming home," Kaindoh said. "I'm coming home, baby."