Vols are Among Top Teams for 5-Star Target

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    (Photo via 4smael on Instagram)

    Tennessee has targeted a number of five-star prospects in the 2021 recruiting cycle, and UT holds commitments from two recruits who are or have been five-stars in this class. On Sunday, one of the Vols’ top remaining targets — who is also a five-star — included Tennessee among his top remaining schools.

    Smael Mondon, the No. 1 outside linebacker in the 2021 class per 247Sports, tweeted out a graphic on Sunday afternoon showcasing his top five teams. Tennessee, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, and LSU made the cut among his many suitors.

    According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Mondon is the No. 26 overall prospect, No. 2 outside linebacker, and No. 3 recruit in the state of Georgia. The regular 247Sports rankings list Mondon as the ninth overall prospect in the class and the top-rated outside linebacker and recruit in Georgia.

    The 6-foot-3, 200-pound defender plays for Paulding County in Dallas, Georgia and holds over three dozen scholarship offers. But Mondon will be focusing on those five schools moving forward.

    Mondon has visited Tennessee three times in the last year. He took an unofficial visit to Knoxville in late July of last year and came back to see the Vols take on Vanderbilt in the regular season finale. He also visited in late January of this year. Tennessee was the first SEC school to offer Mondon and the second school overall. Virginia Tech offered him first on October 9, 2018. The Vols extended an offer on November 7, 2018.

    At this time, Mondon has not specified when he will be announcing a commitment to a school.

    Watching Mondon’s film, he certainly looks to live up to that five-star billing. He’s a physical, violent defender with really good speed and exceptional length. He can move very well and has great pursuit. He shows off his versatility and overall athleticism by playing on both sides of the ball for Paulding County.

    As a junior this past season, Mondon ran the ball 57 times for 498 yards and six scores while catching 15 passes for 186 yards and a touchdown according to MaxPreps. His defensive stats from his junior season have not been updated on the site.

    Tennessee currently has 23 prospects committed to them in their 2021 class. The Vols’ class currently ranks No. 4 in the country and No. 1 in the SEC. The Vols already have a pair of highly-rated outside linebackers committed to them in their 2021 class in five-star Terrence Lewis and four-star Aaron Willis.



    Nathanael Rutherford
    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.