Georgia linebacker Smael Mondon has made his future plans known, as Mondon will be returning to Georgia for his senior season according to a report from Pete Nakos of On3.

Mondon arrived at Georgia as a 5-star recruit in the 2021 signing class, alongside fellow starter Jamon Dumas-Johnson. Mondon first earned playing time on a number of special teams units before emerging as a starter during his sophomore season. Mondon is from Dallas, Ga.

Dumas-Johnson entered the transfer portal on Thursday.

Mondon is the first draft-eligible Bulldog to indicate he is returning to Georgia for another season.

Mondon started 13 games for Georgia during the 2022 season, missing two games due to an ankle injury. He still led the team in tackles with 76, while picking up 8.0 tackles for loss, a sack and an interception as well.

Injuries though limited Mondon from being the best version of himself as a junior. While he was able to play in every game for Georgia, a foot injury suffered during spring practice seemed to keep him from becoming a dominant player this season. He was still a Second Team All-SEC selection, but given some of his tools there was a thought that Mondon could be one of the best linebackers in the country.

Even with the injuries, Mondon still tied for the team lead in tackles with 68 and improved as a blitzer, picking up 3.0 sacks this season.

“We’ve got two freshman linebackers out there playing, I don’t know, 50 percent of the snaps. Smael’s out there fighting his tail off, he’s hurt and beat up,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said about Mondon prior to the SEC championship game. “Everybody does, we’re not going to whine and cry about it. We’ve just got to get the next man up and got to continue to make plays with the other guys.”

The Bulldogs do have a lot of young talent at linebacker moving forward. CJ Allen started four games for Georgia after Dumas-Johnson suffered a forearm injury, while Raylen Wilson was named to the SEC’s All-Freshman Team. Georgia is also expected to sign three blue-chip linebacker prospects in the 2024 recruiting class, led by 5-star prospect Justin Williams.

Georgia did also see inside linebacker Xavian Sorey and EJ Lightsey elect to transfer out of the program this offseason.

The 2024 NFL Draft is scheduled to begin on April 25. Georgia will finish out the season against Florida State on Dec. 30 in the Orange Bowl.