Florida OL Has "Strong Interest" In USC

With offensive line recruiting being one of South Carolina's bigger priorities in the 2008 recruiting class, the Gamecocks have targeted one of the Sunshine State's best and are hoping to convince him to play his college ball in Columbia. Read inside for more.

Lake Worth (FL) standout offensive lineman Joe Looney is considered one of the top line prospects in the Sunshine State's class of 2008. With offers on the table from major programs like South Carolina, Alabama, Wake Forest, Louisville, West Virginia and a number of others, the 6'4", 312 pound Looney has several options to choose from, but despite claiming a top five list of schools as recent as earlier this week, Looney insists that he now holds no favorites.

"No, not really," Looney replied when asked if any of the teams pursuing him currently stand out.

One reason Looney may have backed off his stance of naming a list of favorites is because of his increasing interest in South Carolina, who was not among his previous top five. According to Looney, the Gamecocks are now very much on his radar, and he is looking forward to setting up a visit to Columbia so he can learn more about them.

"I've got a real strong interest in South Carolina. I like their coaches. I love Coach G. (Robert Gillespie), the dude that's recruiting me. I just want to get up there and see their facilities and campus."

Looney, who projects as an offensive guard on the college level, has already taken unofficial visits to Rutgers, Auburn and Central Florida, and he said he hopes to visit a number of other schools later this summer. While on those trips, Looney says he will look for a few key factors to help him differentiate between the schools that are pursuing him.

"I'll look at the potential for playing time and how I can come in and make an impact. Then their academics and facilities are important too."

If everything goes according to plan, Looney said he hopes to decide on his college choice early in his senior year.

"I'm probably going to make a decision around August or September. It‘ll probably be sometime around there, but if not it‘ll probably be later in the season."

Looney will be a four year starter for Lake Worth this fall and is widely recognized as one of the top two-way linemen in South Florida. When asked to describe what sets him apart on the football field, Looney replied that his hard nosed mindset and willingness to work are some of his biggest assets.

"I'm a tough player. I'm strong and aggressive. I just work hard and play real hard."

Looney, who bench presses nearly 400 pounds, was an All-Area selection as a junior last season. He holds a 3.0 GPA and reports an 1170 on the ACT.

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