Top ’26 recruit Julian Lewis reclassifying to class of ’25

Julian Lewis, the top high school football player in the class of 2026, is headed to college a year early.

The quarterback told ESPN that he plans to reclassify and enter college in the class of 2025. That means this upcoming season at Carrollton High School in Georgia will be his final year in high school.

Lewis committed to USC in August. That’s one of several high-profile schools that has recruited him to come in either the class of 2025 or 2026.

“Since I was 7 years old, one of my goals has been to play Division I football,” Lewis told ESPN. “Through hard work and sacrifice that goal has become a reality. I have been blessed to have two good seasons under Coach Joey King and I have confidence that after this coming season I will be ready to compete at the next level.

“So, after much prayer and talking with my family, coaches and trainers I will be reclassifying to the class of 2025.”

Lewis is such a talent that he could be ESPN’s top-ranked high school player in either the class of 2025 or 2026.

It’s expected that he’ll be ranked No. 1 in the class of 2025 in ESPN’s next rankings when they come out on Jan. 29. In ESPN’s August rankings of high school prospects regardless of class, Lewis ranked ahead of the current top player in the class of 2025, quarterback Bryce Underwood, who recently committed to LSU.

Not surprising of a player of his stature, Lewis has offers from the sport’s top programs — Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio State, Texas and Oregon. Lewis, 16, is also the rare high school recruit who has built a strong national reputation outside of recruiting circles, as he already has 131,000 Instagram followers.

King also coached Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence when he was in high school. Lewis’ talent has been compared to that of both Lawrence and Georgia native Justin Fields when at the same age.

King told ESPN last year about Lewis: “I’ve had the privilege of coaching Trevor Lawrence. He’s in the same category as Trevor. The skill set and arm talent he has are definitely advanced for his age.”

In two seasons of high school, he’s thrown for a total of 7,212 yards, 96 touchdowns and completed nearly 66% of his passes. This year, he threw 48 touchdowns and just two interceptions, down from 12 a year ago.

Lewis had emerged as the face of the case for Georgia high school athletes to earn NIL deals, a rule that passed in the state in early October.

He’ll now have one more season of high school in Georgia before entering the college realm. USC does not have a quarterback commitment in the class of 2025. More than half of that class’ top quarterbacks — four of the top five dual threats and six of the top 10 pocket passers — have already verbally committed.

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