Altmyer ready to take controls as SHS quarterback

Luke Altmyer

Staff Writer

Monday marks the real beginning to Luke Altmyer’s high school career at Starkville High School.

After gaining valuable reps last season as a freshman behind Malik Brown, Chris Jones feels now is the time to hand the controls over to the talented passer. Practice number one of the fall begins Monday and Altmyer will be QB1 and, barring injury, will take the first snap against Noxubee County on August 17 as well.

“Last year was great sitting back and taking mental reps the whole year,” Altmyer said. “Now I’m the guy and I’ve got to step up. A lot of other guys have to step up with me and we have to go out there and win.”

With Brown, the Yellowjackets used the running game to its advantage most of the time as he controlled the read option. Altmyer has the ability to throw as well as any quarterback at SHS since Brady Davis and the potential that he possesses is through the roof.

Altmyer wasn’t just used in spot duty last season. He had packages and even came into the game and played some in the Class 6A State championship. He completed 85 percent of his passes going 39-of-46 for 478 yards, seven touchdowns and just one interception.

That makes this season all the more exciting as the Jackets become even more balanced than they have been in year’s past. Altmyer has weapons around him with Brown moving to slot receiver and Rufus Harvey also manning a wide out post. Beside him is Rodrigues Clark, who can break a big run at any moment.

It all makes for an explosive offense this season and beyond.  

“Coach Jones is a spread offense type of guy and he likes to toss the ball around," Altmyer said. "I think this year we will be able to open the playbook up a lot more with Malik at slot receiver and the other guys. I am stoked and ready to suit up.”

Before the first practice takes place today, Altmyer got his last bit of competition outside of the high school fields this past weekend.

The sophomore was invited to Mississippi State’s Top Dawg Camp where some of the top underclassmen prospects and current commitments competed at Davis Wade Stadium. Altmyer has already jumped on the Bulldog radar and enjoyed his chance to go up against some solid competition.

“It’s always good to come out to the stadium," Altmyer said. "It’s a great feel and a great atmosphere here. We’ve got to go up against some great talent in the few camps I’ve been here and met (MSU quarterbacks coach Andrew Briener) and our relationship has kind of grown throughout this. It’s going great so far.”

One of the players that Altmyer got to throw to in the one-on-one portion was his teammate Harvey. Both of them were among the most impressive of the camp, but that’s nothing new to the quarterback.

The junior Harvey has spent countless hours with Altmyer on the field getting a chance to catch passes and they’ve developed a chemistry. They gave MSU coaches and the defensive backs defending the first taste of what’s on the way this season.

“He is one special guy," Altmyer said of Harvey. "Not many guys have the hands and feet he has. He’s really special. We work out after practice before the spring even started and the summer. We just work on our chemistry every single day.”

As for recruiting, that process is just beginning.

MSU has its eyes on Altmyer and will see plenty of him as he plays right down the street for the next three seasons. Memphis has already offered Altmyer before he’s started a game for the Jackets and many more are coming. It’s all come very quick for a talented player, but he’s remaining grounded.

“It’s really humbling and really different for me since I’m just getting into it,” Altmyer said. “I’ve just got to keep my head down and I can’t let it get to me. I’ve got to keep grinding and hope for the best.”