St. Augustine quarterback Locklan Hewlett was taken back a little. Not because he doubted his talent, but it’s how quickly he became a highly-targeted recruit.
It’s how quickly eyes of coaches and scouts were drawn to the Class of 2025, 6-foot-1, 175-pound gunslinger and his teammates after a 7-4 record, complete with an undefeated district title during his sophomore season.
Hewlett completed 131 of 225 passes while racking up 2,126 yards and 23 touchdowns last season as the Yellow Jackets made a trip to the 3S playoffs. In turn, he drew interest from a plethora of colleges and currently holds more than 20 offers.
“It’s definitely new,” Hewlett told the Times-Union during a jamboree hosted by St. Augustine. “I didn’t expect it to blow up this much for our team, but I’m glad it did. It’s motivation but we got to stay humble and keep working.”
More stories from our staff:
Elite Eighteen: Who are the 18 best players in Jacksonville?
‘It’s a blessing’: ESPN Junior 300 Jaime Ffrench on Mandarin’s ring pursuit, top schools
‘Felt like I belonged’:’ Tramell Jones on Florida State commitment, outlook for Mandarin
Hewlett has picked up offers from programs like Texas A&M, Miami, Cincinnati, Iowa State, Arizona and Rutgers this spring. That’s in addition to offers that rolled in either last year or over the winter recruiting period.
And the offers are likely not finished flowing in as he prepares for a summer that could see him soon find his home.
“Schools that have recruited me the hardest I would say: Wake Forrest, Miami, USF and then you know, Texas A&M, UConn, a bunch of schools, they’ve been really good,” he said. “Right now, I have no idea where I will be playing. But I’m going to take it through the summer and hopefully make a decision.”
The thing Hewlett wants above all is stability and connection. According to him, he’s likely going to the school that shows him the most attention. Somewhere where he can talk about football and have a relationship with the coaching staff.
“A stable coaching staff. Great fit, I want a good fit. I want to be able to play an offense that is perfect for me. I care a lot about the interest colleges show me. The school that shows the most interest is most likely where I’ll end up playing,” Hewlett said.
“A lot of schools, they’ll just offer and then they won’t really talk to you after, and that’s how recruiting is now, but I want the school that shows most interest,” he continued. “I want to talk ball [and] keep a relationship going through the recruiting process.”
The jamboree hosted at St. Augustine also featured Mandarin and Bishop Kenny. It gave Hewlett an opportunity to go up against some of the best talent Northeast Florida has to offer.
Mainly in competition against Mandarin, where Hewlett led the offense down the field against one of the strongest defenses in the area. His play was limited, but Hewlett did complete a deep pass on a throw just beyond the reach of an outstretched defender.
It was a pass that dropped perfectly for his receiver and displayed why Hewlett was one of Northeast Florida’s passing leaders in 2022.
“I think we’ve been pretty good about it. Our coaches have been pretty good about it. You can’t put pressure on yourself,” he said. “What we did last year, what the skill group guys did last year. Offensively, they’re confident and we can be a lot better this year and they know that now. Especially with all the colleges looking at them, but we’re pretty good about not putting too much pressure on us.”
After a first-round exit, it’s clear the Yellow Jackets want more from their upcoming season. With a quarterback like Hewlett and a talented group of skill players, it’s within reach.
“Keep an eye on St. Augustine this year. The whole team, we were going to be special,” Hewlett said. “We’re going to be special. We’re going to put in the hard work and it’s going to be great.”
Juston Lewis is a sports reporter for the Florida Times-Union. You can follow him on Twitter at @JustonLewis_.