To his coaches and teammates, redshirt junior quarterback Luke Doty is the ultimate team player.
Leading up to the 2023 season, Doty appeared in 19 games as a quarterback for the Gamecocks, starting six and completing 60.9% of his 228 pass attempts. He also had 11 combined passing and rushing touchdowns.
In 2023, Doty has appeared in all three games, except one thing sets this season apart from the others: He's not playing quarterback.
With the help of his coaches, Doty reinvented himself as a wide receiver in his fourth year with the Gamecocks. So far this season, he has appeared in each game at the line of scrimmage rather than poised behind it.
“He's just so valuable. The guy loves South Carolina. Whatever role you give him, he embraces it. It’s a great example for all of our guys," head coach Shane Beamer said. "He works and he competes. He’s a leader, and he wants what's best for the football team.”
Doty has started one game as a wide receiver his three appearances this season. He has accumulated seven catches for 91 yards, one of which was a 36-yard touchdown to put the Gamecocks ahead against Furman. The touchdown was Doty's lone reception of the game. He’s now scored passing, rushing and receiving touchdowns in his career.
“I’ve always said it, I’m a team guy,” Doty said. "I’m going to do whatever it takes to get out there and help the team. It doesn’t matter what capacity it is. If it’s me being on a headset or me having a headset on the sideline, watching defense and making calls, then that’s what it is. If it’s me out on special teams or playing wide receiver, then I'm all for it.”
This season is not Doty’s first time playing as wide receiver. He played the position early in his career at Myrtle Beach High School before finding his way to quarterback. During his sophomore year, he played seven games, recording 20 receptions for 146 yards and four touchdowns.
Since then, Doty's only experience with receiving came from training camp his freshman year at South Carolina, when he split his time between playing as both quarterback and wide receiver. Doty stepped onto the field wearing garnet and black as a receiver for the first time against the University of Florida in 2020, but he did not record a reception until this year.
Doty appeared sparingly across games as a quarterback in his 2020 season until he took the helm from then starter and graduate student Collin Hill. Doty went on to start the remaining two games of the season as quarterback and remained there until this past spring.
“I’d love to say it was just a spur-of-the-moment kind of thing, but it’s something I’ve been preparing for for a while,” Doty said. “I’ve been doing it since my freshman year, so it’s kind of like riding a bike — you never really lose it. But it was kind of one of those things that we said we wanted to mess around with this, and we just kept working at it.”
Doty isn't the only player on the team who has floated between positions for the Gamecocks. Sixth-year running back Dakereon Joyner went through a similar process in the spring. Having played quarterback, receiver and on special teams since joining the Gamecocks, Joyner recently made a switch to play running back.
“I’m very proud of him,” Joyner said. “He told me the other day (that) he used to watch me a lot, going through my transition, so he’s kind of handling that similar. I mean, he’s a guy that does everything right. He’s the guy that’s going to continue to have success. He does everything right.”
Although he’s found himself making a different impact his year, Doty is still listed as the second quarterback on South Carolina’s depth chart. Against Furman, he completed two of four passing attempts for 17 yards.
“(I’m) just going back to my technique and trusting the system, trusting my craft" Doty said. "Going out there, being confident and making plays doing whatever I can to help the team."