USC Recruiting

Gamecocks QB commit has life-changing experience at Elite 11, The Opening

Last week won’t leave Luke Doty.

The South Carolina Class of 2020 quarterback commit left home in Myrtle Beach and spent a few days down in Texas. The setting: first the Elite 11 and then The Opening, being around some of the best college football recruits in the country and competing.

This week, he returns to the Seahawks. His team had a break in summer workouts, a fortuitous gap that let him duck out of town without missing anything. Monday, he returned to the task of leading his team’s defense of a Class 4A state title.

But his time with some of the best talent around, doing things together on and off the field, is something he’ll carry with him beyond just the title of Elite 11 QB.

“It was definitely one to remember,” Doty said. “An experience that I’ll never forget. It definitely changed my life in ways that I didn’t know were possible. I got to be around a lot of great guys, great athletes.”

He also got to work with some powerful names in the football community.

“I made a ton of relationships with those guys and a lot of the coaches that can really help me get to where I want to be in the future,” Doty said.

He was directly coached by Alex Brink, a 10,000-yard passer at Washington State, and Craig Nall, a seven-year NFL veteran who backed up the likes of Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre. He also got some time with analyst Yogi Roth and chess pro Seth Makowsky.

The Elite 11 is a 20-year-old quarterback competition that brings some of the best junior signal callers in the country together, while The Opening is a national camp for players of all positions.

Doty said the focus was on mindset and improving his thinking as much as it was about throwing footballs.

“A lot of it is mentality,” Doty said. “Just controlling the way that you think and the way you do things out there on the field and in life. That was really a main focus for this week.

“I definitely think that’s going to take my game a long way.”

His game was already in pretty good shape last season, as he made a big jump as a passer between his sophomore and junior seasons. He went from a part-time quarterback and part-time receiver to an undisputed starter, and he put up big numbers at the helm.

Doty connected on 71.6 percent of his passes for 3,037 yards, 36 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also ran for 701 yards and seven scores at six yards per carry.

With him running the show, Myrtle Beach went 12-1, securing a state championship with a comeback win against Greer.

The 6-foot-1, 197-pound passer has run a 4.56-second 40-yard dash and is currently the No. 84 player in the country in the 247Sports Composite rankings. But he was around plenty of other highly rated players last week, and he thought that also helped him.

“I definitely think it lifted my game to another level,” Doty said. “Just being around those guys ... that have been highly recruited — obviously highly touted quarterbacks and athletes. I really just think it took everybody’s game to the next level. We were all pushing each other and pulling for each other as well.”