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Five-star linebacker Smael Mondon has Tennessee in his top five

Perhaps Tennessee’s biggest remaining target.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 01 Belk College Kickoff - Tennessee v West Virginia Photo by Dannie Walls/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

One of the best prospects in the country has named Tennessee to his top five. Smael Mondon, a five-star linebacker, narrowed his choices down on Sunday afternoon. Tennessee, LSU, Georgia, Auburn and Florida made up his five options.

Mondon is the 9th ranked player in the 2021 class and the top ranked player in the state of Georgia, according to 247Sports. The 6-3, 220 pound defender is out of Dallas, Georgia.

Tennessee has been after Mondon hard, placing stud recruiter Brian Niedermeyer on his case along with defensive coordinator Derrick Ansley. Niedermeyer moved from tight ends to inside linebackers during the offseason, a move that paid nearly immediate dividends as Tennessee landed five-star linebacker Terrence Lewis.

Georgia is the perceived favorite for Mondon, currently sitting with eight crystal ball projections, per 247Sports. Tennessee is firmly in the mix though, hosting Mondon on three visits in the last year. He last visited Knoxville back in January.

The Volunteers have added several key pieces to their linebacking room over the last two cycles. Henry To’o To’o, Quavaris Crouch, Bryson Eason, Martavius French and Morven Joseph have beefed up the depth chart, now Terrence Lewis and Aaron Willis have added to that core during this cycle. Mondon would give Tennessee an embarrassment of riches at the position.

Tennessee currently has the 4th ranked class in the nation, now with 23 commitments.