Luke Doty is already considered one of the best quarterbacks in the state, if not the best.
He’s verbally committed to the University of South Carolina. And he was a lock for the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas after being named to the Elite 11 national camp this summer.
Becoming a finalist for South Carolina’s Mr. Football award was maybe only the next logical progression for the Myrtle Beach senior.
On Wednesday, Doty was named one of the seven players in the state who are still in contention for the award. He is joined by fellow quarterbacks Noah Bell (Saluda), Mikele Colasurdo (Chapman) and Tyler Venables (Daniel) as well as Byrnes tailback Rahjai Harris, Laurens running back Duane Martin and Dutch Fork receiver Jalin Hyatt. The winner will be crowned at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium during the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Bowl on Dec. 14.
If we’ve learned anything in the past several years, it's that naming favorites among the list of finalists is silly — especially since voting won’t be conducted until early December. Still, no one would be shocked if Doty ultimately received the nod.
“It’s feeding off of our success the last few years — winning a state championship last year and then our hot start this year,” Doty said, referencing Myrtle Beach’s 2018 Class 4A title. “With the kind of playmakers I have around me and the great protection up front, it is natural in the way we do things at Myrtle Beach.”
However, while Doty does have one of the best receiver corps in the state and a quality offensive line, his career has been all about maximizing the opportunities he’s been given.
In fact, this Friday against Darlington, Doty is well within striking distance of surpassing 5,000 career passing yards. He enters the game just 184 shy of the milestone. In 27 total games at quarterback, he’s got those 4,816 passing yards and 56 touchdowns and 1,196 rushing yards coupled with another 11 scores.
In five games this season, he’s thrown for 1,076 yards and 15 touchdowns (against only three interceptions) while also running for 245 yards and another score.
Many of those figures have directly led to plenty of victories. In 21 starts at the position, Doty is 18-3.
“You look at the whole picture of what he’s done basically in the last year and a half. He’s done some great things,” Myrtle Beach coach Mickey Wilson said. “I’m happy for him. It’s a great situation to be in.”
As for Doty’s chances?
“I believe it would be hard to find anyone in the state of South Carolina who would be more valuable to his team than Luke Doty is to the Myrtle Beach Seahawks,” Wilson added.
The only Horry County athlete to ever win the award was Myrtle Beach’s J.D. Melton, who did so in 2004. In the last decade, three other locals have been named finalists: Myrtle Beach’s Everett Golson (2010) and Conway’s Mykal Moody (2012) and Bryan Edwards (2015).
Doty has now joined suit, and despite all the other honors he’s already earned, Doty said this one has its own place in his mind.
“Being a finalist is definitely up there. It’s one of the top honors in the state of South Carolina,” he said. “It would be awesome to win it. But it’s just another award. I’m not really big on that kind of stuff. But it would be big to win it.”