What Makes Julian Lewis A ‘Special’ Quarterback Recruit?

Lewis's combination of physical and mental skills are truly unique
Julian "Ju Ju" Lewis-2023 Elite 11
Julian "Ju Ju" Lewis-2023 Elite 11 / Brian Smith-Auburn Daily

Defining what makes a prep quarterback a special talent can be tricky. 

There are many facets to quarterback play, so oftentimes evaluators are too quick to anoint a signal-caller as elite. With the case of Rivals’ #1 overall 2025 prospect Julian “Ju Ju” Lewis, he’s elite for several reasons few other prep quarterbacks can also claim.

Such as the immense amount of advanced quarterback traits that Lewis is already commanding, over and over, despite barely being old enough to legally drive a car. Keep in mind, Lewis is a class of 2025 recruit but also reclassified from the 2026 class.

The 6-foot-1 and 175-pound quarterback is a blast to watch in person at Under Armour and Elite 11 camps alike. It’s still when Lewis plays for Carrollton (Ga.) High School that he must be most closely evaluated. That’s where his HUDL film comes into the equation.

Like baseball, basketball, hockey, or any other sport, a player’s throwing motion will most likely be successful when the feet are balanced and set to deliver the football. 

Of all the traits making Lewis an elite prospect, none likely surpasses his ability to consistently keep his feet balanced, use the same throwing motion each time, and accurately deliver the football. There are several more intriguing aspects to discuss.

If one is curious about a certain route that’s all but automatic, Lewis throws the football in front of a receiver running a slant with the football at the chest, which helps that player to keep running fast after the catch. The quick release proves impressive as well. When he’s not able to quickly complete a slant or similar pass like that, Lewis will improvise.

He showcases pocket awareness. If Lewis feels the pass rush closing in, he consistently avoids defenders. Then, even while running, he keeps his eyes down the field and connects with a target. Lewis is uncanny with his even-keel demeanor while being chased.

When rolling to his right and away from pressure, Lewis still keeps his feet balanced by not overstriding while running. He will then jump off his right foot and give his intended target a catchable pass even when the play looks dead. 

This is a major part of evaluating a prep quarterback or a signal-caller at the college or pro levels. He’s pretty good at rolling against the gain and delivering a pass while rolling to his left, too.

When the pocket is clean it’s almost unfair for Lewis to be playing high school football. He throws into areas of the field beyond a defender – projecting where his target will be – and hits that player in stride. Few prep quarterbacks consistently read and throw those types of passes, let alone hit them on the money.

That’s generally a trait one will see with an elite college signal-caller or NFL quarterback. To that point, Lewis is one of the more mentally advanced prep passers in recent memory. If he cannot hit his first or second option, Lewis continues through his progressions.

He will check down to a receiver instead of forcing a pass to a primary target. Again, his patience is a sign of mental awareness generally shown by older players. From 2023, MaxPreps has Lewis with 48 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, providing further proof that he’s a quality decision-maker.

As a final point about what Lewis excels at doing, he adjusts to throwing a Level 1, 2, or 3 ball. What does that mean? For a Level 1 one, he throws a fastball to keep it from being picked off.

His ability to throw the Level 2 ball is the most impressive of the bunch. Over the linebacker and in front of the safety, arguably the most difficult throw in football. 

Lewis shows consistent touch – from an otherwise dangerous pass – toward the crowded middle area of the field. His junior film has more than a few of these passes that Lewis completes.

If one wants to see a beautiful pass, watch Lewis connect on a Level 3 ball. He’s playing with some top-notch receivers and Lewis provides his playmakers a chance by laying out a high-arching pass that can be run under.

Lewis deserves to be considered an elite prep football recruit. He has a vast array of skills more often seen at higher levels. It will be fun to see how he progresses from this point forward.

Brian Smith


Fan Nation High school football recruiting analyst covering the state of Florida, as well as across the Southeastern United States and the state of Texas.