A Paulding County High School junior is on a “preseason watch list” of players being considered for an award given annually to the top Georgia high school football underclassman player.
Smael Mondon of Paulding County High School was among 17 players the Touchdown Club of Atlanta said it was considering Tuesday, July 16, for its annual Little Peach award for top non-senior players in the upcoming 2019 season in Georgia.
Mondon is a 6-foot-3, 220-pound outside linebacker and running back for the Patriots who has scholarship offers from 18 universities, according to 247Sports.
Patrick Jackson of the Touchdown Club said Mondon’s “speed, size and playmaking ability just jump out when you watch his highlights.”
“He was everywhere on defense (in 2018),” Jackson said. “He’s someone we couldn’t ignore.
“He’s an incredible talent and the Touchdown Club is excited to keep an eye on him this upcoming season,” he said.
Paulding County High Head Coach Van Spence said Mondon “is an extremely hard worker and student of the game.”
“Our kids trust and look to him,” Spence said.
Mondon has even logged some time at quarterback, Spence said.
“He is a gamer,” he said. “We go as Smael goes.”
Mondon’s scholarship offers include UGA, Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan and more, according to 247Sports.
He was named All-County as a freshman in 2017 when he helped lead Paulding County High to its first state playoff berth in 10 years. His five rushing touchdowns as a running back led the team that year.
Among his honors in 2018 as a sophomore were being named to the All-Region 7-5A and All-County teams, and a finalist for the Paulding County School Board’s Fall Player of the Year award in football.
Also on July 16, the Touchdown Club named players it was considering for its Mr. Georgia award for the state’s top 2019 player; and players on its Pre Season All Star Team for Georgia.
In addition, the club named,players it was considering for national awards it gives, including the Bobby Dodd National Back and Lineman of the Year trophies.
The Touchdown Club usually gives an individual award to one player but gave two Little Peach awards in 2018 to Keaton Mitchell of Eagles Landing Christian Academy and Marcayll Jones of Warner Robins because both had record-setting performances, Jackson said.
It gave the Mr. Georgia award for 2018 to Dylan Fromm of Warner Robins High School — an honor previously given to his brother, Jake Fromm, who is now the quarterback at UGA.