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Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

Rivals Five-Star: Five QB stories to follow in Jacksonville

By meerna Jun18,2024
Rivals Five-Star: Five QB stories to follow in Jacksonville

The Five-star rivals returns to Jacksonville next week and some of the best quarterbacks in the country in the 2025 and 2026 classes will be working out.

Here are five stories we’re watching ahead of the summer’s biggest event.

RIVALS FIVE-STAR QB SQUAD

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LEWIS MAY SAY NO. 1ST PLACE

Julian Lewis

Julian Lewis

The fight for the first quarterback position was fierce between USC soldier Julian Lewis and LSU’s Bryce Underwood, and Ohio State player Tavien St. Clair, who has also entered the scene since recently achieving five-star status.

There is competition at QB, but also for the top overall spot in the 2025 Rivals250 race – currently led by Lewis – and his performance in Jacksonville could further cement that.

The USC commit works best in game situations where he can isolate the defense in the pocket and then look equally comfortable throwing on the run and avoiding pressure.

Lewis, St. Clair and the others will fight in the stadium Five-star rivals and Lewis knows everything about important situations.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH USC FANS AT TROJANSPORTS.COM

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CAN SMIGIEL RETURN TO NO. 1 In 2026?

Brady Śmigiel

Brady Smigiel (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

In the first round of the 2026 rankings, five-star Brady Smigiel was the No. 1 quarterback, but five-star Ryder Lyons took the top spot in the spring. The two California quarterbacks could have fought until the end, but at that point Lyons from Folsom had the advantage.

The propeller will be on Five-star rivals as the only underclassman, so he’ll certainly have a chance to make a big statement against many of the best in 2025. The Newbury Park, Calif., standout is mature beyond his years, a coach’s son and a gym rat who was outstanding last season when Florida State and others fought for him.

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RUSSELL LOOKS ON THE NATIONAL STAGE

Keelon Russell

Keelon Russell (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

Perhaps no quarterback has done more for himself at regionals in the offseason than Keelon Russell, who recently transferred from SMU to Alabama. The four-star from Duncanville, Texas, also rose to sixth in the class among professional quarterbacks, but will have a chance to climb even higher in the coming weeks.

Watching Russell, he reminds us a lot of Jayden Daniels, who was selected in the first round of the NFL Draft at the same stage – a slim frame, but the arm to pop the ball and he has the accuracy and instincts to be exceptional.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH ALABAMA FANS AT TIDEILLUSTRATED.COM

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WILL THERE BE another five-star point guard?

KJ Lacey

KJ Lacey (Marshall Levenson/Rivals.com)

There are currently three five-star point guards in the 2025 class – Lewis, Underwood and St. Clair – and while we don’t intend to impose another one, it seems there is another one.

It could be KJ Lacey from Texas, who will be at the event Five-star rivals, or maybe Notre Dame will land Deuce Knight, who has been really hot in recent tournaments, or maybe a surprise will come later in the recruiting cycle. Florida State commit Tramell Jones is as stable as can be, which is sometimes attractive to NFL teams in the first round.

Not every signal-caller with a chance to advance to five-star status will be in Jacksonville next week, but that stage is available to many of the big names showing up at marquee events.

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WILL ANY OF THESE TOP PLAYERS TURN AROUND?

Tavien St.  Claire

Tavien St. Clair (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

Julian Lewis to USC. KJ Lacey to Texas. Deuce Knight to Notre Dame. Akili Smith Jr. to Oregon. Tramell Jones to Florida State. Keelon Russell to Alabama. Tavien St. Clair to Ohio State.

The only quarterback who didn’t make a mistake on Five-star rivals that’s Brady Smigiel, the only 2026 quarterback at the event. However, many of the quarterbacks involved – with the exception of Smith, Russell, Lacey, St. Clair and Jones (depending on who you talk to) – looks at the others.

Lewis has been committed to USC since August but is being heavily sought after by Auburn and Colorado. Knight has had a long-time commitment to Notre Dame, but Ole Miss is struggling. Florida continues to pursue Jones (and other QBs) to land one in its 2025 class, and it will be interesting to hear what many of these players think next week in Jacksonville.

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RIVALS CAMP SERIES REGIONAL COVERAGE

By meerna

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