"Governor" D.J. Looney

Mississippi State junior football player D.J. Looney is known, affectionately, as the Governor by people close to him. He's very active in student affairs and student events at MSU and people just seem to gravitate to him due to his very likeable personality. While every college football player dreams of playing in the NFL some day, D.J. is a realist and has his sights set on other goals in life.

"My degree is in Insurance Risk Management and Financial Planning, but I probably won't go into that right off the bat," said Looney. "I have stayed in touch with (former Mississippi State athletic director and current University of Arizona athletic director) Greg Byrne. He and I got close. So, I think, starting off, I would like to get into athletic administration and, maybe, one day become an athletic director."

He explained in more detail how his meetings with Byrne led to his desire to become an athletic director.

"Mr. Byrne and I met regularly, although it wasn't anything formal, just when I went by his office and with what I was doing (with the Student Athlete Advisory Committee)," said Looney. "When we both had some free time we would just sit and talk. Meeting with him and being on the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, I think that is where that has led me. I got my passion from him, really. And it's something that I have hung my hat on and the direction that I want to go in."

With a new athletic director in place at Mississippi State, Scott Stricklin, is there a chance we might see Stricklin hire Looney to work in the Mississippi State athletic department once his college career has run its course?

"We have talked a little but not about that," said Looney with a slight laugh. "I went in and congratulated him and told him that we were happy that he got the job, and that we are looking forward to seeing where his new ideas will lead us."

With Governor as his nickname is there a chance we might see Looney in the political arena later in his life?

"Everybody asks me that," Looney said when asked the question.

Although there was a slight laugh in his initial comment, he left no doubt that he wouldn't say no if the opportunity did indeed present itself.

"Wherever (life) leads me," said Looney, one of several Mississippi State football players who recently visited Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children in Jackson, MS. "I love people and love meeting new people and helping people out. One day, if it's needed, I would do it."

Who knows, Looney may wind up being the athletic director at Mississippi State or possibly even the United States Senator who represents the state of Mississippi and the students of Mississippi State. Knowing D.J., neither one would surprise me.

YouTube video of MSU players visiting Blair E. Baton Hospital for Children

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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