Conquered the week—now the calendar shows that it’s Friday.
Get dressed, grab backpack, and leave the house earlier than any other day of the week.
Drive to Adam’s Rib Company to order breakfast—the Meat Lover’s Omelet, a side of potato wedges with ketchup, and a biscuit with gravy, to be exact. To some, this may sound like the breakfast of champions, and that may be the case. However, this is also the routine game day breakfast of Gainesville High School’s former wide receiver, Dock Luckie III.
A nap after tackling the school day is mandatory.
Now, the time to get into game mode has come. A mellowed out attitude, quiet and basically any other adjective and verb combination to be used, that describes the complete opposite of “getting hype.”
Compression shirt is put on first—always. The compression shirt is followed by arranging the pads in the pants, then looping the belt through. Next, is putting the pants on.
The left sock goes on before the right one.
And before going out for warm ups, lace up the cleats and grab the helmet—the gloves will come in handy, too.
Believe it or not, Dock is the last player out of the locker room, every time.
Being involved in sports came about when his parents realized he was a ball of energy. They noticed the high energy when Dock was just fifteen-months old, still in diapers and exercising while watching a Tae bo work out tape.
There’s a video to prove that.
As parents, they grabbed their ball of energy and made him pick up a ball himself. From that point on, Dock has not stopped chasing the ball. His competitive attitude and “needing to win every game” mindset, along with his energy, carried over through his high school years. But, before things got too out of control, his mom made him aware, when he was younger, that he can’t win every game. At the time, he was confused as to why Reggie Bush and the University of Southern California’s football team was able to win every game.
Blitz to 11th grade, Dock racked up nearly 700 receiving yards and about ten touchdowns. One would think, because of his receiving yardage, he would’ve also racked up offers from colleges and universities—that’s a false start on your thinking. There was only one word he used to describe his recruiting process—SLOW.
It wasn’t until he was invited to the Nike Opening Regional Camp that colleges and universities wanted to really see what was up with Dock. After running exceptional routes, showing off his hands and winning the Most Valuable Player at the camp, he got invited to the Rivals Camp. A player typically has offers from colleges and universities when getting invited to the Rivals Camp—Dock did not.
What’s up with that?
Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, was the first college to send Dock an offer.
Until high school, he was coached up by his dad, Dock Luckie II, who was on the University of Florida’s football team back in 1977 to 1980. Prior to becoming a dad, Luckie II was the number one college football prospect in the county, with about 200 different offers, before signing with Florida. You could say his dad knew best when it came to the X’s and O’s and the recruiting process. Even if times have changed from actually mailing a college or university an actual reel filled with highlights and them mailing it back.
It’s also safe to say that Luckie II as a defensive tackle (that would be one heck of a one-on-one matchup to see) was able to have a few pointers for his son who plays on the offensive side of the ball. One thing is for sure, Dock Luckie III should feel secure with guidance from his dad, on and off the field. Especially with Luckie II being security for legendary Gator head coach Steve Spurrier during his time at Florida.
However, a football field is only one hundred yards. There’s more ground to cover going through the motions of day-to-day. There’s more goals in life than field goals and the goal of winning on Friday nights. There’s more to Dock Luckie III.
Before his collegiate football season begins, Dock will academically be a sophomore. Wait, back up. Someone who has just recently graduated high school is now a sophomore in college? So basically, not only has he racked up yardage on the field, but he has racked up college credits—in high school.
Being studious is nothing new to Dock. He was academically driven, even in elementary school, when he would ask his mom when school would become more challenging for him. Dock’s older sister prescribed him with the nickname “nerd” before it was cool. His mom, Towanda Luckie, who is a science teacher at Howard Bishop Middle School, says everyone thinks he gets his academia from her, but she doesn’t think that is the case.
Dock graduated Gainesville High School with a 4.3 grade point average and committed to play ball for Florida A&M, but his time at FAMU will not strictly revolve around going out deep on the football field. He will be deep into his books with aspirations of becoming an engineer.
He was the punchline to his friends and teammates’ jokes because he would be voluntarily reading a book when they texted him to find out what he was doing. Or when they would ask “what are you doing after school,” and he would reply with not being able to hang out because he had to study.
I left this in-home interview with a clear and vivid indication of what the term ‘student-athlete’ truly means. STUDENT-athlete. I left this in-home interview becoming aware of how Dock wants to make a difference in the world of academics and athletes. He wants to start an organization that requires athletes to promote literacy. I left this in-home interview asking “what am I doing?”
They wanted to know what Dock was doing.
There isn’t just one solid answer, but just look and you will see his faith, his perseverance, and his strength—on and off the field.
Pitching it back, the question is: What are YOU doing?