Luke Doty’s Myrtle Beach legacy already includes some gaudy numbers, a state championship and a commitment to play at the University of South Carolina.
Now, he can add his name to another distinguished group.
The rising senior has been selected to participate in the 2019 Elite 11 Finals, the nation’s most prestigious training camp for high school quarterbacks. Doty will be one of 20 players named to this year’s field.
“It’s a very special group. It’s something that not every quarterback gets to be a part of,” Doty said. “It means a lot to me. It’s something that I wanted to do since I was little.”
Elite 11 President Brian Stumpf said the complete list would be released late Wednesday or early Thursday.
The current class will get together June 28-30 at the training facility of the Dallas Cowboys, The Star in Frisco, Texas. Be it there or any of the Elite 11’s previous homes since its foundation in 1999, South Carolina talent in the event has been few and far between.
Doty is the fourth player from the Palmetto State selected for Elite 11. He joins former Seahawk star Everett Golson (2010), as well as Jacob Park (Stratford, 2013) and former Byrnes standout Willy Korn (2006), who is now the co-offensive coordinator at Coastal Carolina University.
In addition to past performances, Doty qualified for the finals via a regional showcase in Charlotte on April 28. By Monday, the first 14 selections had been announced, with fellow rising seniors who had previously committed to Clemson, Florida, Georgia and Southern Cal among them.
Myrtle Beach coach Mickey Wilson has seen four of his former players at the position go on to play collegiately in 10 seasons. With Doty, he believes his Elite 11 selection is further proof of a player continuing to improve.
“He’s a kid who is one of the hardest-working kids I’ve ever had. Success has not changed him,” Wilson said. “He’s the first one in the weight room and the last one to leave. Luke wants to be great at quarterback.”
Doty said he knows he can be better.
“That’s definitely what drives me, never being satisfied," he said. "Any time something good happens, I’m never satisfied. I’m looking to get better any way I can. In the film room or the weight room, I’m always looking to to hone my craft.”
Recruiting site rivals.com has Doty listed as a four-star prospect for the Class of 2020, as well as the No. 3 dual-threat quarterback in the country and the state’s fourth-best prospect, regardless of position.
Despite all that — and the fact that Doty received his first college offer as an eighth grader — it has been a relatively rapid rise to prominence. Prior to the 2018 season, his junior year, most of his varsity experience was at wide receiver.
His full-time debut at the helm, though, was everything Wilson and Seahawk fans waited for.
Last fall, he threw for 3,037 yards and 36 touchdowns against only six interceptions. He also ran for another 701 yards and seven scores. Those figures were even more impressive given that the team missed two regular-season games due to the flooding caused by Hurricane Florence.
He made up for the lost time in the postseason.
In the state semifinals, Doty piled up 520 total yards and seven touchdowns against Hartsville, and just shy of 300 yards and three scores the following week in the state finals victory over Greer. He had 19 total touchdowns in the playoffs alone.
However, maybe his most impressive play of the season came during an Oct. 12 region game at Marlboro County. After the Bulldogs blocked a kick, Doty — who was the holder on the play — chased down an opposing player going for a would-be defensive touchdown. Doty made the play despite trailing the player by as many as 15 yards and with blockers in-between.
His tackle inside the 5-yard line preserved a shutout in a 21-0 Seahawk win. A clip of the play posted to Twitter garnered more than 40,000 direct views in the first week alone.
Because of that athleticism and the fact that he’ll be joining a crowded quarterback room at South Carolina, many speculate that Doty will move to another position in college. Doty and his family have said they would welcome the idea if it helped the Gamecocks win.
However, the Elite 11 selection means some of the best talent evaluators at the position do not believe he is simply an athlete masquerading as a quarterback.
Since its foundation, the event has attracted some of the biggest names to eventually enter the college and professional ranks. More recent Elite 11 alumni include current Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and Georgia’s Jake Fromm.
And now, Luke Doty.
“It’s hard to believe,” he said. “I knew that all the hard work that I’ve put in has definitely paid off. There are a lot of people I couldn’t have done it without. It goes back to just getting better, not worrying so much about what everyone else thinks and what the expectations are. It’s all about getting down to work.”