Auburn football: Tigers make top 5 for elite linebacker prospect

Auburn will have a chance to grab one of the best players in the class of 2021.

Just over two years ago, a five-star linebacker out of Loganville, Georgia committed to Auburn over UGA. That recruit was Owen Pappoe and the five-star prospect would go on to start for the Tigers as a true freshman in 2019.

Fast forward to now and the Tigers once again have a chance to bring in one of the country’s top linebacker recruits.

Like Pappoe before him, rising high school senior Smael Mondon Jr. has dominated his opponents in the state of Georgia and is now rated as a five-star linebacker prospect. Mondon is rated as the best outside linebacker in the class of 2021 and a top 10 prospect in the country per 247Sports and is listed at No. 26 overall according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.

Well, for obvious reasons, Auburn has recruited Mondon hard and on Sunday, their efforts paid off. While the elite LB has yet to commit to a school, he did take to Twitter to reveal his top five schools — all of which play in the SEC.

Mondon’s top five of Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU and Tennessee (alphabetical order) is not much of a surprise but guarantees that Mondon is SEC-bound and gives Auburn plenty of competition in their own conference. The elite LB took an unofficial visit to The Plains back in February.

According to thw 247Sports crystal ball, UGA is seen as the current favorites for the Paulding County high school standout.

At 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds with elite athleticism, Mondon is already seen as a potential first-round pick in the NFL when his time comes. In addition to his job at linebacker, Mondon also lined up at running back this past season where he recorded 684 all-purpose yards and seven total touchdowns.

A commitment from Mondon, which will come at an undisclosed date later this year, will give the Tigers their first linebacker prospect in the 2021 recruiting cycle and 11th commitment for the class.

Auburn signed inside linebackers Desmond Tisdol and Wesley Steiner in the 2020 class as well as outside linebackers Romello Height and Cameron Riley.