Clemson University

Highly rated linebacker gets a ‘complete surprise’ with Clemson offer

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney breaks down 2019 recruiting class

Tigers added two scholarship prospects Wednesday
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Tigers added two scholarship prospects Wednesday

Paulding County 2021 linebacker Smael Mondon (6-foot-3, 210 pounds) is considered one of the top linebacker prospects nationally for the 2021 class. As such, he is normally not thrown off the mark. But he admits to being knocked off balance earlier this week when he picked up an offer from Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables. The offer came after Mondon made an unofficial visit to the Clemson campus.

“I liked the place,” Mondon said. “Nothing in particular, just like the place in general.”

He went into the visit without an offer from Clemson and apparently with no preconceived notion that Venables was going to offer him so soon.

“I didn’t know it was coming. It was like a complete surprise,” Mondon said. “They came to one of my spring practices and then we’ve (he and Venables) been staying in contact. He was talking about my instincts and being able to blitz and run.”

Mondon already owns 27 offers, and he still has two more seasons of high school football to play through. And while the Clemson offer is big, and sits right up there with Alabama, Georgia and others, he’s not ready to identify any favorites.

“I like them, but at the moment I really like every school that’s offered me,” Mondon said. “It’s all even.”

However, he did agree Clemson, Alabama and Georgia are resonating strongly with him at this point.

“They’re teams that compete for national championships every year,” he said.

Along with Clemson, Mondon has visited Georgia, Virginia Tech, Auburn and Alabama. He’s in no hurry to make his decision and said he’s eyeing the 2020 early signing day for announcing his choice.

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