This Sentell’s Intel rep has the latest with 5-star QB Julian “Ju Ju” Lewis. He ranks as the nation’s No. 2 QB and the No. 8 overall prospect for 2025 on the 247Sports Composite ratings. The On3 Industry Ranking has him as the nation’s No. 2 QB and the No. 9 overall recruit.

CARROLLTON, Ga. -- Julian “Ju Ju” Lewis just wants to play ball and win. The 5-star QB prospect is already seen as the face of high school football in Georgia.

He’s put up gaudy numbers (7,212 yards, 96 TDs, 14 INTs) in just two seasons of high school football.

Those are big-boy stats in the big-boy GHSA football. To put it simply, he showed all he needed about his ability to play winning football at the highest level with 4,118 yards and 48 TDs freshman year at Carrollton High.

He led his Trojans to the GHSA state championship game in his freshman season by completing 65 percent of his passes and only throwing three interceptions.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound newly-minted senior is growing up fast. He’s already gotten a NIL deal and had his truck stolen from the Atlanta airport before going to his high school prom. Lewis just got his driver’s license a month ago, he said.

This is the same player who reclassified to 2025 from his original high school ranking in 2026. When he did, he went from the nation’s No. 1 QB for one cycle to the No. 2 QB in the current cycle.

He’s now a Top 10 prospect in this cycle.

DawgNation had the chance to speak with Lewis after the Under Armour Next football Atlanta regional on Sunday. We were able to get his thoughts and the thoughts of the Lewis family on several topics including:

  • Let’s be upfront with an important disclaimer: He’s still committed to play QB for Lincoln Riley at USC. That said, the Bulldogs are one of a handful of schools that hold his attention.
  • The Bulldogs are a prime contender to receive an official visit from Lewis. There is the feeling among the Lewis camp he will take “a few” official visits over the late spring and early summer.
  • A common question is which schools have a chance with Lewis. T.C. Lewis, his father, told DawgNation there are a handful of schools that are in it. Those are Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and USC. Colorado is intriguing to the family after the recent hiring of longtime NFL offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.
  • There’s a common misconception about Lewis in the golden age of NIL being used as an inducement to 5-star and All-American decisions. The Lewis camp is not seeking to play for the highest bidder.
  • Why is he giving Georgia football a very hard look? It all comes back to the simple notion Georgia wins. Lewis wants to win. The fact the ‘Dawgs have gone 14-1, 15-0 and 13-1 over the last three seasons is the college career he wants to be a part of.
  • There’s the feeling Lewis is such a special talent that the Bulldogs don’t want to see such a talented arm leave the state. Everyone remembers what it was like when Deshaun Watson went from Gainesville to Clemson and elevated that program to the highest tier of college football’s food chain.
  • What could UGA be with a 5-star passer like Lewis? While scouting opinions will vary, the prevailing opinion is Lewis has shown the potential to perform like Bryce Young at the college level. That means he could contend for Heisman Trophies and steer his team to the thick of the national championship picture on Saturdays. He’s that good.
Carrollton quarterback Julian Lewis (10) attempts a pass during the second half against Mill Creek in the GHSA Class 7A finals, at Center Parc Stadium, Saturday, December 10, 2022, in Atlanta. Mill Creek defeated Carrollton 70-35. Carrollton freshman quarterback Julian Lewis threw for a state championship game record 531 yards and five touchdowns. (Jason Getz / (Jason Getz / Freelancer)

Julian Lewis on Georgia football: Could “Ju Ju” wind up as a ‘Dawgs?

Lewis had his truck recently stolen from the Atlanta airport. For those who feel has has the world right where he wants it, that’s a human element to balance that out.

“I miss her,” he said. “But she’s gone. I’ve got to let her go. Just like an ex-girlfriend. You’ve just got to let them go. But it is a sad day.”

That might be his biggest sack or stop for a loss all season.

“That definitely was,” he said. “That got me right there. But insurance. That’s what we’ve got.”

Where is he at with his process? There is the matter of the track record of a very profitable future playing quarterback for Lincoln Riley at USC.

“I’m still committed to USC like you said,” Lewis said. “But I mean I’m still looking around. Just to hang around. Georgia is close. ‘Bama is close. Stuff like that. But I’m still locked in with USC. 100 percent.”

How have the ‘Dawgs been able to keep his interest?

“I mean, shoot, you see what they do,” Lewis said. “You see the guys they bring in. The guys that they are going to have around you on a daily basis. Georgia guys are definitely a little bit different in terms of size-wise. There’s not really many schools with people like that.”

He regards the Bulldogs as a 5-star program.

“The players around me are going to be exactly like me,” he said. “Except probably eight inches taller and 100 pounds heavier. But that’s just how it works.”

He stressed a few knowns when it comes to the Bulldogs.

“It is coach [Kirby] Smart,” he said. “The way Coach Smart runs his group and his guys. He’s led them to national championships the past whatever years except for last year when they lost the SEC championship and they dropped them out. But you know what they have going on.”

“You can’t skip over it.”

What would be the clincher for this decision?

“I mean shoot I want to win,” he said. “I want to be set up in the right position to go out there and win on a weekly-basis-type-thing. I want guys around me that want to win too and can get us there.”

He took a stance on the NIL perceptions with his decision. The best way to describe it is he focuses on football. His family takes inventory of all the rest.

“I don’t even handle all of that stuff,” he said. “I let my Dad talk money and I talk football and I go visit for football. My Dad is my manager. My whatever agent. Whatever you want to call it. I just let him run all this stuff. People are going to talk because they know I’m making money and whatever. But that’s just how it is going to roll.”

He repeated one phrase over and over.

“I just want to win,” he said.

If there’s hope for DawgNation in this recruitment, it would be that. That is his whole thing.

“USC going to the Big Ten is a big change,” Lewis said. “We’ve just got to see what is going on.”

When Smart and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo make their pitch, what hits home?

“I mean nothing,” he said. “They tell you what you see on TV. ‘We’re going to win. We’re going to put you in the right position. The weight room is crazy. The strength and conditioning and all that stuff. You’re going to be ready for the next level after UGA.’”

Lewis doesn’t even consider himself a kid anymore. He said he is “at that senior state” where he leaves in December. He’s trying to get ready to live by himself away from his parents.

“Just mentally trying to prepare myself for that whole thing,” he said.

There’s something to pick by listening closely to Lewis. If one wanted to say he might already be thinking of his college career, it wouldn’t be totally off the mark.

If there was a way to convey that without taking the focus off his high school team and the 2024 season, he’d seek to express that.

“I’ve been ready to get it on and get to the next level,” he said. “I feel like if I stayed that extra year, then high school football probably wouldn’t be as fun for me as getting to sit in a college locker room would be.”

He’s also looking to replace his stolen Dodge Ram “TRX” truck. But not with the same “girl.”

We will spare the details of the color and specifics. Lewis shared he’d like to maintain possession of his next ride this time.

“I’m going to get a little souped-out girl,” Lewis said. “She’s going to be bad, though. Trust. She’s going to be bad. I’m going to get another one, too. Just for a little travel. But I’m going to have something sweet.”

That stuff just makes sense to include here. Because amidst all these big-boy decisions, he’s also a high school player who loves his first car.

Lewis seems like the next wave of the college football prodigy. Different than Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields when they came up in the state of Georgia. But still with this same level of national spotlight for that time.

But to be fair, we don’t know what Fields or Lawrence would be like in this era either. Not for sure.

Lewis is vastly talented. He might leave the state. He will command headlines and NIL dollars. He somehow has more followers on his social media than current Georgia QB1 Carson Beck.

“Ju Ju” had ideas for football slides as a youth. That’s what he saw coming up through the camp circuit. He wanted to market it. But that was a few years away from this current economic climate for superstar players at the high school level.

Strip all of that away. He still makes a telling statement about what he is all about.

That comes when asking him what he still loves best about football. It is more than just being able to afford a very nice truck.

“Probably just going out there Friday nights with the guys,” he said. “A lot of those guys are like lifetime-friends-kind-of-thing. You know certain kids in the locker room don’t like me because of what I have going on but a lot of those guys will be, I mean, I will talk to them forever. I might not see them often or know what they have going on but we can be Facebook friends and stuff like that. That is kind of my biggest thing about Fridays and that’s what I am going to try to enjoy the most of this last little stretch for me.”

Did you know the weekly “Before the Hedges” program is available as an Apple podcast? Click to check it out and download it.

5-star QB Julian "Ju Ju" Lewis has reclassified to the Class of 2025 and is now a primary target for UGA in this cycle. (Jeff Sentell/ DawgNation) (Jeff Sentell/Dawgnation)

Ju Ju Lewis: What does the family think about his process?

Lewis brought up his father a couple of times. His father is, to borrow a dated parallel that feels right, his Jerry Maguire.

“Ju Ju” looks to grind film and ball and move chains. He’ll leave his father to dial in the rest. That’s the role model that had him spinning footballs in a snug family home hallway from ages seven to nine.

“We were in that hallway every night,” Lewis said. “It is a lot of throwing but I would say that got me right.”

When Lewis met with UGA for “Junior Day” recently, there was a presentation from every position coach on offense with all the recruits for that side of the ball. It was a select group.

But Lewis then had a session with offensive coordinator Mike Bobo and assistant QB coach Montgomery “Gummy” Van Gorder.

They watched film of Carson Beck from last season. They watched the junior film for Lewis. Georgia moved the pocket with Stetson Bennett IV in recent years, but then they showed more of a static pocket with Beck.

His father shared a few telling statements about what folks need to pay attention to here:

  • Georgia does throw the ball enough now to fit what the Lewis family is looking for. His Dad made that clear. “Absolutely,” TC Lewis said. “They definitely throw it enough.”
  • The family doesn’t think they need official visits, to be honest. But they realize officials are widely used as an opportunity for a free trip for a great visit experience. They will take a few and Georgia is “for sure” a candidate for an official visit. We do feel that UGA will get one here.
  • The yards and the completion percentage are all there now for them to strongly consider the ‘Dawgs. The stat upticks of the last few seasons have now shown that to an elite 5-star QB prospect.
  • “The biggest thing with Georgia right now and I think Julian has reiterated it multiple times is understanding the opportunity to win and if you were to say like stability-wise it is probably the most stable program in college football,” TC Lewis said. “I would say if you look at it. When you think about head coaches that aren’t going anywhere and that kind of thing. Then coach Bobo. I don’t see him going anywhere and that kind of thing. That adds a big piece and then obviously I think the opportunity [at Georgia] changed when he reclassified. ”
  • “The way the quarterback room there is built now with Carson [Beck] coming back for one more year. Now it kind of creates the opportunity for him if he were to come in to compete right away and be part of an early competition instead of having an entrenched starter. I think that is what also moves them up the board.”
  • The Lewis family can shoot down the theory Julian is going to go to the highest NIL bidder. “That is a hundred percent wrong,” TC Lewis said. “I would say the highest bidder has nothing to do with the decision whatsoever. Obviously. What’s funny is a college coach said it to me best. He said “I tell my staff in today’s climate you wouldn’t take a job and not know what you are getting paid so you can’t come down on a kid for at least wanting some clarity on what their NIL outlook looks like at our university’ and so I think that maybe because people understand that Ju does bring a lot of value. But then people assume then that’s what we expect. But I mean it just needs to be fair and in line with the understanding of each school’s setup if that makes sense. It is definitely not a highest-bidder situation.”
  • “We’re definitely not talking to the highest bidder right now,” TC Lewis said. “Let’s put it like that.”
  • I don’t think folks grasp this point: A big reason why he committed early to USC is he is a football guy. There’s the real feeling he is experiencing some recruiting fatigue. “He’s not trying to be a celebrity,” his father said. “I think that comes with the success and some people assume that’s what he seeks. But for him, he really just wants to play ball. He’s just a kid with his ball. That’s the best way I can describe it.”
  • Lewis would like to be done with his recruiting process but more than that, he seeks for his decision to not just feel right, but for it to be the right decision. His value system wants to link up with the ability to win and to compete for championships. The next thing down the value tree would be to play for a school that allows for the stage to compete for individual accolades.
  • His father brought up the notion everything changes so fast. When he chose USC, the Trojans had a pledge from 5-star 2004 QB Malachi Nelson. Todd Monken was the first coach at UGA to recruit Lewis. He’s now in the NFL. There was a time when they looked at UGA as a cramped QB room with Brock Vandagriff and Carson Beck and Gunner Stockton. For the majority of last season, the Bulldogs were also bringing in 5-star Dylan Raiola and 4-star Ryan Puglisi. Vandagriff is at Kentucky and Beck will head to the NFL after next season. That leaves Stockton and Puglisi. Now all of a sudden there could just be two guys at UGA that he would compete with next year. That’s what it looks like right now, but the family is aware that Georgia could add another QB from the portal to the room.
  • “Those things that change also cause change for us,” TC Lewis said.

We’ll have another story over the next few days that explores another big element of Georgia potentially being able to flip Lewis away from USC.

We’ll also provide several updates from the LOADED Under Armour camp that was held at Carrollton High School on Sunday.

5-star QB Julian "Ju Ju" Lewis has reclassified to the Class of 2025 and is now a primary target for UGA in this cycle. (Jeff Sentell/ DawgNation) (Jeff Sentell/Dawgnation)

Have you subscribed to the DawgNation YouTube channel yet? If so, you will be able to see special 1-on-1 content with key 2024 prospects like Daniel Calhoun, Dwight Phillips Jr., Dylan Raiola and Sacovie White.


(check on the recent reads on Georgia football recruiting)