USC Recruiting

Doty, Hilinski QB competition won’t get in way of friendship down road for Gamecocks

Luke Doty and Ryan Hilinski will be teammates and battling for quarterback spot the next few years at South Carolina.

But according to Doty, that won’t get in the way of the friendship the two are building. Doty, the senior quarterback at Myrtle Beach, text Hilinski birthday wishes Thursday on way to Seahawks’ game in Florence against Wilson High.

Hilinski turned 19 on Thursday.

“Talked to him a bunch and really love being around him,” Doty said after Thursday’s win against Wilson. “Know we are going to have a great future together. We are still trying to build that bond and get tight right now. It is going to carry on into the future.”

Doty said he stayed with Hilinski a few times over the summer and has been at Williams-Brice Stadium to watch him every home game this season. Hilinski took over QB duties when Jake Bentley went down earlier this season and has three years left of eligibility.

Doty will arrive at USC in January to begin his college career and welcomes the opportunity to compete with Hilinski and Dakereon Joyner for playing time.

“I think supporting each other in everything that we do,” Hilinski said. “It is going to be a competition but we are going to push each other to get better each and every day.

“If he (Ryan) makes a good ball I’m going to be there for him. Can’t wait for it.”

Doty has one more game left in the regular season against North Myrtle Beach next week before the playoffs begin. The Seahawks are No. 1 in Class 4A and are looking for their second straight title.

Doty is a finalist for SC’s Mr. Football was named Class 4A Lower State Back of the Year on Friday.

“Just taking it week by week and trying to find something each and every day to get better at,” Doty said. “Doesn’t last forever so trying to enjoy it and have fun.”

Doty had more than 300 yards of total offense with three TDs in Myrtle Beach’s 43-30 come-from-behind win. The Seahawks trailed 24-14 at halftime before rallying and clinching the Region 6-4A title.

Dotty was a vocal leader on the sidelines during the game, gathering his teammates around him when things weren’t going well. Then in the closing minutes, he gathered his offensive linemen around them thanking them for their performance and about what the postseason means for the team.

“It just comes with being the quarterback of the Myrtle Beach Seahawks. It is a pretty big role and that is the kind of guy that I am. I am a leader. I can go in, command and take over,” Doty said. “I feel like we all did a good job of that tonight. We rallied around each other. I had to rally around my offensive line. We couldn’t get some things going early but I know those guys had my back.”

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Lou Bezjak is the High School Sports Prep Coordinator for The State and Island Packet. He has covered high school sports in South Carolina for 16 years and is a two-time South Carolina Sports Writer of the Year by the National Sports Media Association.