Louisville top contender for Joe Looney

Joe Looney, a mammoth three-star offensive lineman from Lake Worth, Florida, is one of Louisville's top recruiting targets in the Class of 2008. Looney is currently considering five programs closely, and with family ties in Louisville, the Cardinals look like a top contender for the 6-foot-4, 309-pound standout.

Joe Looney, a three-star offensive lineman from Lake Worth, Florida, is a hot recruiting commodity.

One of the top offensive line prospects in the state of Florida, Looney, currently 6-foot-4, 309 pounds, has put in solid work during the off-season that should pay big dividends on the field this fall. A physically imposing prospect, Looney said he's bench pressing 370 pounds and squatting 450 these days.

"I've improved a lot this summer and gotten faster and stronger," Looney said.

On the recruiting front, Looney has no shortage of options. Holding 20 offers, Looney has a firm grasp on his recruitment, including an impressive Top 5.

Looney said he's strongly considering Alabama, Rutgers, Wake Forest, West Virginia and Louisville. Included in that list: Last year's Big East (Louisville) and ACC champions (Wake Forest), and a pair of teams that spent time in the Top 10 (West Virginia, Rutgers). All five schools have offered Looney.

"All of those programs are really recruiting me hard and that's why they are in my Top 5 right now," said Looney.

Here's how Looney breaks down his Top 5:

Alabama: "I saw their facilities when I went up there for camp and I really liked them. I also like how their offensive line coaches works with the linemen and Nick Saban knows how to get players to the next level.

Rutgers: "They were the first school to offer me and they've been recruiting me hard for a long time. I went up there as a junior for camp and I really liked the school."

West Virginia: "They recently offered a scholarship. I haven't seen the school yet, but I like all of the coaches. They text me a lot about how much they want me to come there and play."

Wake Forest: "They won the ACC last year. I like them and I'm thinking about taking a visit up there real soon."

Louisville: "I like Louisville a lot. My dad played there and I think it would be a great place for me to play because I have a lot of family there."

Could Looney's family ties to Louisville be the deciding factor when he sits down later this year to make his college decision?

"It's going to factor in a lot because my family would be right there close by if I needed anything," said Looney. "It will play a big role in my decision."

Looney said he'll sit down next month and iron-out his official visits. He said he's shooting for a November decision.

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