One of the Tennessee Vols‘ biggest 2021 recruiting targets is five-star linebacker Smael Mondon, who is rated by 247Sports as the No. 1 outside linebacker in the nation and the No. 9 overall 2021 recruit in the nation.

Mondon, 6-foot-3/220 lbs from Dallas, GA (Paulding County), recently released his top five schools and he included Tennessee, along with Auburn, Florida, Georgia, and LSU.

The Georgia native, for now, doesn’t have a clear leader. Mondon told 247Sports that his top five schools are all equal.

“Everywhere’s the same until I take the visits, and that’s not going to be (until) later. So, no, I don’t have any leaders right now,” said Mondon to 247Sports.

Tennessee Vols

While Mondon may not have a favorite, he had plenty of great things to say about Tennessee.

“I mean, it’s just a nice, tight family vibe there. The coaches show that they care,” explained Mondon.

The elite linebacker added “I’ve got a good relationship with Coach Niedermeyer…He’s outgoing, so he makes you feel comfortable”.

Mondon admitted that he might not make a final decision until December (during the early signing period).

Of course, that timeline could be pushed back. The recruiting dead period currently runs through August 31, but there’s no guarantee that visits will be allowed to resume in September. If the recruiting dead period gets extended again, it’s certainly possible that the early signing period (and maybe even National Signing Day in February) could be delayed.

But regardless of when the signing period happens, it’s clear that Tennessee is still strongly in the mix to land Mondon.

Featured image via 247Sports
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