Bold prediction No. 3: Kaindoh notches 10+ sacks

Photo courtesy of IMG Academy

As we creep closer to the start of the season, we here at NoleGameday are making some early bold predictions for the 2017 season. There are many interesting aspects about this upcoming squad and storylines that we may start to take shape throughout the course of the season. From who leads the team in receiving yards to the state of the backup quarterback unit, let’s take a look at how things might turn out next year.

Previously, I predicted that Florida State would lead the nation in sacks in 2017. Most of the reason why I came to this prediction was from the return of do-it-all safety Derwin James, who also moonlights as a pass rusher. But we also talked about guys like Josh Sweat, Brian Burns and Derrick Nnadi and the impact they will bring to the pass rushing game as well.

One freshman that found his way onto that list was Joshua Kaindoh, the five-star recruit who enrolled early at Florida State in time for spring ball. The 6-5, 250-pounder was originally committed to Maryland, but de-committed and pledged his services to the Seminoles.

His arrival comes at a precarious time for the Seminoles. With the departure of DeMarcus Walker to the NFL, Florida State has a big need at the strong-side defensive end position. Sweat, Burns and Jacob Pugh fill out the rotation at the weak-side end (or BUCK) position, but none of them projects to be the big run-stopping end that FSU needs at the other side.

The strong-side end position will likely feature a rotation between Kaindoh, redshirt freshman Janarius Robinson and redshirt sophomore Jalen Wilkerson, all who have great size and could play serious snaps this year.

But there’s no questioning that Kaindoh has the most raw talent out of that bunch. He ended this year’s recruiting cycle as the No. 9 overall player in the country. There’s a good chance that Kaindoh could be Florida State’s starter at strong-side end sooner rather than later.

If Kaindoh ends up as a starter, there’s a good chance he could put up some good sack numbers as well.

To be fair, true freshmen aren’t necessarily expected to put up enormous sack numbers. Pass rusher is a hard position to learn and the intricacies of the position is what makes some players a lot of money at the next level. True freshmen not named Brian Burns just don’t normally rack up a lot of sacks.

Moving on, here’s a chart that shows every five-star defensive end/edge rusher recruit since 2012 and the number of sacks they totaled in their first year on campus.

Notice anything interesting? Other than Myles Garrett, the future No. 1 overall pick, five-star pass rushers typically don’t produce at a high level immediately. Garrett’s true freshman season was one of the best in recent memory. Players like Noah Spence, Malik McDowell and Carl Lawson still had good freshman seasons, but didn’t become sack artists until later on in their careers.

But this is a bold predictions article, right?

I’ve been pretty light on my bold predictions so far, calling for Nyqwan Murray to lead the team in receiving yards and for Florida State to lead the nation in sacks.

Let’s get a little crazy. Let’s call for Joshua Kaindoh, five-star freshman defensive end, to rack up ten or more sacks in his first year on campus.

Florida State nearly had a freshman do it last year when Burns notched 8.5 sacks while being deployed in a variety of ways yet not as a full-time starter. If Kaindoh wins the strong-side end job, he will have more opportunities for those big sack numbers.

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