The Recruiting Guy:

Hogs attempt to pluck top LB out of Georgia

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Tuesday, February 25, 2020

The University of Arkansas is making Georgia a priority in recruiting, and the Hogs extended a scholarship offer to one of the nation's top linebackers in Smael Mondon last week.

Mondon, 6-3, 220 pounds, of Dallas (Ga.) Paulding County also has offers from Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, Auburn, Clemson, Oklahoma, LSU, Notre Dame and others. Razorback linebackers coach Rion Rhoades told him about the offer on Thursday.

Smael Mondon highlights

arkansasonline.com/0225mondon

"He's cool. I like him," Mondon said of Rhoades. "He told me the plans for the program."

He plans to visit Oklahoma on March 28 and is considering a trip to Fayetteville.

"Yeah, I'm going to try and visit them this spring," Mondon said.

Mondon's speed and physicality stand out on his highlight film. National recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network rates him a five-star recruit.

"Smael is one of the best linebackers in the country," Lemming said. "Big, physical, super fast, instinctive, with five-star ability. He's an impact player on the next level and one of the favorites for the Butkus Award next December."

His athleticism translates well in track and field. He recorded 46 feet, 11/2 inches in the triple jump.

"I've never ran a 40, but last year I ran an 11.1 in the 100," Mondon said.

Running backs coach Jimmy Smith, special teams coordinator Scott Fountain and defensive line coach Derrick LeBlanc recruit Georgia. Coach Sam Pittman developed good ties in the state while at the university.

"I never talked to him at Georgia, but I know of him," Mondon said of Pittman.

Mondon, who has a 3.4 grade-point average and is looking to major in business in college, has a 300-pound bench press, 450 squat and 325 power clean. He's open to schools far and near.

"I'm not against going away for college, but the only thing about that is like when I'm taking my unofficial visits, it's kind of hard to visit there if it's far," Mondon said.

Email Richard Davenport at rdavenport@arkansasonlinecom

Sports on 02/25/2020

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