This Sentell’s Intel rep on Georgia football recruiting has a different read on 5-star QB target Julian Lewis. He ranks as the nation’s No. 2 QB and No. 8 overall prospect for 2025 on the 247Sports Composite. The On3 Industry Ranking has him as the nation’s No. 2 QB and the No. 9 overall recruit.

Georgia won back-to-back national championships with Stetson Bennett IV at quarterback. Bennett is undoubtedly one of the greatest Bulldogs in history.

The Bennett story would be the best movie.

But that’s not the history lesson to draw upon when thinking of why Georgia is in full pursuit mode for a flip of 5-star QB Julian Lewis from USC.

Here’s the history that comes to mind:

  • Alabama with Bryce Young (former 5-star QB and a Heisman Trophy winner)
  • Clemson with Deshaun Watson (former 5-star QB and an All-American)
  • LSU with Joe Burrow (Heisman winner and a future No. 1 overall pick)
  • Ohio State with CJ Stroud (Former 5-star QB and NFL Pro Bowler as a rookie)

That’s going back with Watson and Kirby Smart. But the Clemson legend went 1-1 in national title games when Smart was the defensive coordinator for some stout Alabama teams. He completed 64 percent of his passes for 825 yards, seven touchdowns and one INT in those games.

The clear takeaway is it takes an elite passer to test the Bulldogs in the regular season or the postseason.

A couple of exceptions can be made for Jalen Milroe in 2023 and Kyle Trask in 2020. Yet Milroe was rated as the nation’s No. 82 overall prospect in high school. Trask did throw for the most touchdowns (43) and the second-most yards (4,283) in college football that season.

There are only seven results in the last three seasons where an opponent came within one score of Georgia or beat them. The ‘Dawgs won at Georgia Tech by eight (2023), lost to ‘Bama at a neutral site by three (2023), won at Auburn by seven (2023), beat Ohio State at a neutral site by one (2022), beat Mizzou on the road by four (2022), lost to Alabama by 17 at a neutral site (2021) and beat Clemson by seven at a neutral site (2021).

The ‘Dawgs went 5-2 in those games.

The last five teams to beat UGA since 2019 had the following QBs: Milroe, Young (twice), Trask and Burrow. The only other loss before that was to South Carolina in 2019. They were led by freshman QB Ryan Hillinski. He was the No. 2 pro-style QB and No. 64 overall recruit. Hillinski went 15 of 20 for 116 yards and a touchdown.

If somebody wants to beat UGA, they better have an elite QB. We’ve drilled down enough on that point.

Georgia won back-to-back titles with a former preferred walk-on at QB. What could they do with one of those talents leading the offense? Especially if they showed all the competitive and composure traits that made Bennett such an all-time great Bulldog?

What if that passer threw 48 TDs and just two INTs in his freshman year of Georgia’s toughest classification? Lewis did that. He was able to follow that with another 48 touchdowns in his sophomore year.

“Ju Ju” turned 16 last fall. He just got his driver’s license. He’s never been to a prom. What is all the fuss about?

“It is just his arm talent,” Carrollton coach Joey King said. “If you watch the ball, his release, his mechanics and the accuracy in which he can deliver the football with the timing and the accuracy. It is the top in the country for his age level.”

“I think that’s why everybody wants him. He’s got crazy arm talent. Not super super arm strength. But just arm talent in general. He’s the most accurate passer I’ve been around. The ball comes off his hand very very effortlessly.”

King also coached Trevor Lawrence at Cartersville. He doesn’t need to say that. It is probably not in his best interest to drop a Lewis comparison with the most prolific quarterback in Georgia high school history. Lawrence went on to become an All-American (FWAA) and the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

But that’s something to consider when King makes a statement like that.

“You can hone skills and all that kind of stuff but some people just have it,” King said. “If you’d have said when he was little ‘Pick that rock up and hit that stop sign with it right between the T and the O’ I feel like he would’ve been able to do that just from a natural arm talent thing.”

“But they have definitely worked on his craft from an early age to this point. It has set him up to be as successful as he wants to be.”

King boils it down to its essence. That’s a big reason why the Bulldogs want to see Lewis in Athens.

Carrollton quarterback Julian Lewis (10) drops back to pass during the first 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)

Here’s the part where an arm talent like Julian Lews comes in

There will be a 12-team college football playoff starting in 2024. The Georgia roster is poised for very big things in the 2025, 2026, 2027 and 2028 seasons. Lewis knows that.

The way the Bulldogs have recruited the last three cycles (average class rank: No. 2) sets them up to win the playoff in one or two of those seasons.

Now give Georgia a Burrow, a Watson or a Young-type talent at quarterback. The feeling here is the Bulldogs could then win the playoff in two or three of those cycles. At least. Georgia knows that.

To be able to do that, they’ll also need to beat a team that has that year’s version of a Young or Michael Penix or Jayden Daniels under center. UGA will probably have to beat two teams with an elite QB like that in every future playoffs to win it all.

Lewis is that type of prospect. The popular scouting comparison for his game points to what Young did at Alabama. Their builds are similar, they are strong processors of what defenses are trying to do and both can hit that stop sign between the letters from 30 yards.

The Lewis family has been in contact with the Young family. Young’s father has been a sounding board for his father TC Lewis about preparing “Ju Ju” for every step of his career.

There are complications like navigating the treacherous waters of NIL offers these days. But Georgia feels all that juice for “Ju Ju” is worth the squeeze right now.

“It’s arm talent and its accuracy,” King said. “But it is also understanding our game plan. We work hard to put him in situations to be successful and then he does the rest of it. He gives us a shot just by having a mind for the game. When he’s dialed into the game plan and he’s on from a mental standpoint, it is a fun thing to see it all come together.”

“He understands what we’re trying to do from an offensive standpoint and then has the arm talent to get the ball there. It makes my job easy when it works that way.”

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5-star Carrollton QB Julian Lewis ranks as the nation's No. 2 QB for the 2025 cycle after his recent reclass from 2026. (Jeff Sentell/ DawgNation) (Jeff Sentell/Dawgnation)

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How the Bulldogs are recruiting Julian Lewis

Lewis is probably a stretch 6-foot-1 in height. He’s maybe 185 pounds and 16 years old.

The staff in Athens has still made it clear they don’t want him to leave the state. If he does, they will likely see him leading another team in the playoffs.

“It is very clear that he is their primary target by the entire staff,” his father said. “It is obvious. They made it clear. That’s clear.”

ESPN rates him as the No. 1 overall prospect in America for 2025. Even after he classed up a year.

Georgia has pointed out a lot of things Lewis does well.

“In terms of his ability to make throws and in terms of his ability to see the game and the things that they want to do, he does well,” his father TC Lewis said. “I think great coaching staffs adjust. They were able to adjust the offense this year to more of what Carson [Beck] does. They didn’t move the pocket this year as much like there with Stetson they did.“

“Then looking at a Ju, you can win the dropback game. You can win off-platform or off-play-action under center. You really can kind of do everything and they know that. I think that’s what they see in him and then just the competitor he is. When you talk to the schools and you sit down, the thing they say about him is he’s going to compete and he’s going to play real football. He’s not just something you are guessing at. He’s had a body of work that’s been building for a while now.”

5-star Carrollton High sophomore QB Julian Lewis was one of a number of elite recruits on hand for Georgia's final home game of the 2023 season when the 'Dawgs routed No. 9 Ole Miss by a 52-17 margin at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia on Saturday, November 11, 2023. (Jeff Sentell/ DawgNation) (Jeff Sentell/Dawgnation)

What will Julian Lewis be like in his final season of high school ball?

It takes some adjusting to realize Lewis will be in his third and final season of high school ball. He should be a junior but has moved his graduation clock ahead by at least a year.

Some of the youngest players in Georgia’s last signing class had their 17th birthdays late in their senior seasons. He’ll be a younger 2025 signee for one fortunate school, but it won’t be unprecedented.

He’s thrown for 7,212 yards and led his teams to 14-1 and 11-3 seasons. How can Lewis level up his game for his final varsity season?

“I just want him to be great tomorrow,” King said. “That’s kind of how we’ve talked about it from a team standpoint and even from an individual standpoint. The focus can get, especially with all he’s got going on, you’re trying to look down the road to this and look down to that. You can easily become distracted. For us, we just try to put things into perspective.”

“I’m not worried about the NFL or the money that is coming down the pipe or picking a school. We just want to be great tomorrow. From a numbers standpoint or an endgame standpoint, I don’t really know. If we’re focused on being great with the day that we get, the sky is the limit because he does have a great skill set to work with.”

If we went just off a football standpoint, Lewis is ready for college football right now. It is a big statement for a 16-year-old, but that’s why he was the youngest cover athlete in Sports Illustrated history.

“From a cerebral standpoint and handling the playbook, I think we do a lot that has prepared him to be ready to compete at that level when he gets there,” King said.

But he’s still a 16-year-old kid. There is a lot of maturation that still needs to take place. That’s normal.

There is more than a talent standpoint there. That helmet is only on for about three hours every day during the season. They still are in high school. Even if Lewis might be the face of high school football in Georgia this year.

That sort of maturity only comes with age and years. He has to be ready for that adjustment to college to also be ready for college football, too.

That’s probably the biggest thing here to watch with Lewis. That’s probably the one thing every talented 16 and 17-year-old still has in common with the phenom right now.

“These are 16 and 17-year-old kids,” his father said. “They are trying to navigate life and all this other stuff. It is a lot. It is not just a little.”

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)


(check on the recent reads on Georgia football recruiting)