Lincoln Riley, USC land top-ranked QB prospect Julian Lewis for 2026 class


Julian Lewis won’t be USC’s starting quarterback this season, the one after that or even the one after that, but that doesn’t mean Trojans fans shouldn’t be excited about the thought of the top-ranked signal-caller donning the USC Cardinal and Gold.

Lewis, who is the top-ranked quarterback and the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2026 recruiting class, announced Tuesday that he has committed to Lincoln Riley and the Trojans.

“Coach Riley being the quarterback coach and OC makes USC different than a lot of programs,” Lewis told 247Sports about why he chose to play for the Trojans. “He’s proven, all he does is turn his quarterbacks into to the best players in college football.”

Riley’s programs have produced a handful of NFL quarterbacks as of late, including Jalen Hurts, Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield. Riley coached all three aforementioned quarterbacks at Oklahoma, where he served as head coach from 2017-21 before going to USC. Heading into his second season in sunny Los Angeles, Riley and the Trojans have the reigning Heisman Trophy winner and potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft under center in quarterback Caleb Williams.


Lewis, who is the first commitment in USC’s 2026 recruiting class, will look to follow in the footsteps of Williams and the other elite-level signal-callers who have played under Riley. 

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound QB is set to begin his sophomore season at Carrollton High School (Georgia). Lewis put up jaw-dropping numbers in his freshman year, passing for 4,118 yards, 48 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and a 121.9 passer rating, while also completing 65.5% of his passes.

His future school, USC, begins its quest for the College Football Playoff Saturday, as they host San Jose State.

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