Photo credit – Twitter: @joaquinkav10
Written by: Drew Johnson (@RealNews102)
Pressure bursts pipes, or it can create a diamond as 2027 QB Joaquin Kavouklis has taken on immense pressure to crystallize into a leader in year one under center.
The 6-1, 180-pound freshman is developing into a potential Power 5 prospect for Clearwater Academy International since filling in for the injured Washington State senior QB commit Evans Chuba.
Kavouklis has gained invaluable experience, finishing his inaugural high school season with 1,608 passing yards and 13 touchdowns.
“Coming into my freshman season, once I found out I was starting I was like “it’s my time,” Kavouklis said. “The first few games I wasn’t nervous but more excited. In the second half of the season, I started going off because I know what I’m capable of and what I can do to help my team get the win.”
For those who are unaware, CAI competes against some of the toughest competition around. To put their strength of schedule in perspective, opponents had an 87-35 win/loss record with just two teams with more than three losses. That can make or break young men on the gridiron or mold them into tough and experienced recruits.
Kavouklis spoke on his time in year one under with CAI under head coach Jesse Chincar and staff.
“Coming in the QB room with Coach Jesse and Evans was very special because coach has a good offensive mind and so does Chuba, he’s a Power 5 QB,” Kavouklis said. “Going out there and producing knowing what they know has helped me a lot going against these big-time teams.”
Here are the CAI coach’s comments on Kavouklis’ impact this season from social media:
Jesse Chinchar (HC): Absolute baller in the 2027 class. One of the more natural passers I’ve ever been around. Extremely intelligent and his ability to step in this year and run the show is one of the most impressive things I’ve seen in the last 10 years of coaching.
Dan Meyer (OC/OL): Not many freshmen could step in and play the schedule CAI had this fall, but Joaquin showed the poise, maturity, and ability to hang with some of the most talented teams in the state. His growth was rapid and his future is incredibly bright! Check him out!
With success on the field comes college interest and Kavouklis is starting to jump on Division 1/Power 5 schools radars. Here are some of the schools showing him interest and what Kavouklis thought about each program and coaching staff.
UF: To get an offer from Florida would be very special. I was talking with the quarterback while visiting a game and he seems very happy to be at the University of Florida. I shook Coach Ryan’s hand just saying good luck, the atmosphere is just crazy. My dad went there, my uncle and aunt went there. I’ve heard some pretty crazy stories, especially at a big SEC program. It’s very elite to play there. I would love to have an offer from there.
USF: The offense is very special because we kind of run a little bit of it. I’m close with the coaches and our team is really close with them. Having head coach Alex Golesh and their offensive coordinator and the QB coaches are really cool guys. I think USF could be special. I went on a game day visit and they were playing Alabama. They were hanging with them and I was very impressed with USF.
UCF: That stadium is very crazy. When I went there on a game day visit I was talking with some of the coaches too and that atmosphere was crazy. Every time they get a first down they have something coming up. It’s very special to them and I was watching them and they are elite and have some amazing players. Overall their atmosphere is amazing. Playing under a guy like (Gus Malzahn) would be very special. Having the opportunity to have a coach like him and being surrounded by players who play at UCF, I was at the game and they have some elite wide receivers.
Other Schools: I love the Florida schools because most of my team gets recruited from Florida (UF, FSU, Miami, USF, UCF). I’m having a blast getting recruited by those schools. Our 4-star DB is committed to Miami and they come down to school all the time. I like the Florida schools a lot.
How Kavouklis deals with early college interest and the importance of staying focused:
“Being a freshman and being able to go on the sideline and meet these players and coaches and hopefully having the opportunity to play there is a big blessing, especially having my QB Coach (Baylin Trujillo) helping me with these opportunities,” Kavouklis said. “I just like to stay focused because everything will come if you just stay focused and work hard.”
Thoughts on the future and plans for the off-season: I think the future is going to be really bright. Our team now is mostly underclassmen. We still have Antwan Raymond (2025) and Khalid Campbell (2025) with most of our o-line coming back, so having those guys is going to be a blast. Having Makih Johnson (2025) and my little guy Mannie McKinney (2027), me and him are going to be a crazy duo in the next few years. I’m also going to go to a lot of camps. Our team likes to go out of state and hit these big camps. Just having my team with me and going to these big camps helping each other out is an amazing experience.
Comments on QB trainer Baylin Trujillo: Coach Baylin is an amazing coach. Every time I go with him I know I’m getting better. He pushes me really hard. Having a QB coach is a blessing but having Coach Baylin is an even bigger blessing. Not only is he getting me better physically and mentally but he’s promoting me and helping me get to the next level.
Plenty of time for Kavouklis to develop his frame and work on the QB mechanics but some of the traits and arm talent he’s flashed are intriguing when figuring out his potential upside. A well-spoken young man with the right confidence and humbleness to lead a program. He wrapped up his interview with thanks to his Dad, and others that have helped him along the way.
“My dad has helped me a lot throughout my recruiting and my overall physical appearance. It’s a blessing to have my dad because without my dad I wouldn’t be here,” Kavouklis said. “I want to thank God too because he gave me my arm talent and underdog mentality just to be who I am. Having my family around and my team also has helped me a lot. Especially my o-line has given me the opportunity to sit in the pocket and take apart defenses.”