Luke Doty reacts to NCAA redshirt rule for Gator Bowl

South Carolina quarterback Luke Doty remembers coach Shane Beamer texting him to come into his office after the S.C. State game.

“Oh, crap, did I do something wrong?” Doty wondered.

Doty’s appearance in the Sept. 29 win over the Bulldogs was his fourth appearance of the year. Any other action in a game would eliminate his ability to take a redshirt season and preserve a year of eligibility.

Beamer asked Doty what he wanted to do, and the junior quarterback responded that he was on board with preserving the extra year — while staying ready to play if needed.

“I’ve always told y’all this, I’m a team player, I’m a team guy,” Doty told reporters Tuesday. “I told him the same thing. If there’s something that I needed to do, and if there’s something that they needed me to do, I would be more than up for it. But if that wasn’t the case, and they were on the same page with me and trying to save this year and redshirt, that I would like to do that as well.”

As the team plays in the Gator Bowl on Dec. 30, though, Doty will have another shot at game action in 2022.

The NCAA announced that this season’s postseason games won’t count against players who reached the four-game redshirt limit. The rule only applies to this year’s postseason and is intended to help teams impacted by injuries, the transfer portal and opt-outs.

Doty has played four games for South Carolina this season, with appearances against Georgia State, Georgia, Charlotte and S.C. State. The NCAA’s new rule would allow him to play in the Gator Bowl and maintain his redshirt status.

Beamer texted Doty when the news came out with a screenshot of the NCAA announcement.

“I’m pretty excited about it,” Doty said. “Any opportunity I get, I’m gonna take it. I don’t know what my role will be, if there’ll be any, but whatever it is, whatever I got to do. I’m always up for it.”

Doty joined South Carolina in the 2020 signing class from Myrtle Beach High School. He saw his most significant action as a sophomore, starting in four of the six games he played. Doty struggled with injuries that season, but managed 975 passing yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions.

Doty has six starts at South Carolina in total. He’s played in a backup role this year, throwing 14 passes in his four appearances.

Spencer Rattler’s taken the bulk of the offensive snaps, starting in each of the team’s 12 games. Doty’s developed a good relationship with Rattler throughout the season, and Rattler credited him in August for helping him learn the plays.

Doty told reporters on Tuesday that he “absolutely” plans to be back at South Carolina for the 2023 season. He said he’s seen the positives in his backup role and his ability to redshirt.

He’s had the opportunity to work with some of the younger receivers on the team in practice, giving them advice on their game along the way.

“Being on the field is one thing, but being off the field, you get to see things that you might not see when you’re out there,” Doty said. “Putting that in my toolbox, that’s some of the stuff that I can use for next year, or whenever I step back on the field.”

Rattler will play in the Gator Bowl, so it’s unclear if Doty will see the field.

The only other Gamecock who’s played exactly four games for South Carolina is defensive back David Spaulding, who sustained a season-ending injury. There are other healthy players who have appeared in three games or fewer.

But with the assurance that he can extend his stay in Columbia for another year, Doty is excited for himself and any other player the new rule benefits.

“It doesn’t just affect me, it affects everybody else,” Doty said. “A lot of the young guys have come along these last couple of weeks. It’s been fun to see what they can do out there when they’re out there.”

Jeremiah Holloway covers South Carolina women’s basketball and football for The State. A graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, he is from Greensboro, N.C. and an avid basketball fan. Holloway joined The State in August 2022.

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