First Visit In The Books

Massive offensive lineman Joe Looney made his first visit to West Virginia on the opening weekend of the college football season.

"I really liked the facilities," Looney said after returning home from his trip to WVU. "Everything is right there together. You don't have to leave the football complex for anything. You can practice, study, get treatment – it's all there together."

Looney was also impressed with the town and campus setting.

"The whole school and the town, I liked them too," the Lake Worth, Fla. star continued. "They have the whole package. The school, the academics, and they know how to party. And I thought the game was awesome. It was rocking the whole time. It was great. The fans were into it."

Looney also got the chance to spend some time with head coach Rich Rodriguez, who has been recruiting him aggressively.

"Coach Rod is a great coach. I love him to death. He recruited both me and Star, and they laid out the red carpet out for us."

Star, of course, is Star Jackson, Looney's teammate who just committed to Alabama. Despite the fact that the pair are close, Looney said Jackson's commitment to the Crimson Tide won't affect his decision.

"Star and I were really thinking about going to West Virginia together," Looney said. "But his decision won't affect mine. I am still wide open to the schools I am considering."

That list, which has been narrowed from many offers, includes West Virginia, Louisville, Wake Forest and South Florida. Looney will take at least two more visits, and perhaps three, before beginning his final decision process.

"I go to Wake Forest this weekend, then I will take a visit to Louisville, probably in October," the six-foot, five-inch, 310-pounder said. "I may take an official visit to South Florida too. I'm not really thinking about a fifth visit right now."

Looney already checked out the USF campus over the summer, so he may not need a return trip to Tampa in order to put South Florida in the mix. He could begin the decision process as soon as he completes his Louisville visit, where he has numerous ties.

"My dad grew up in Louisville and played his high school ball there, and was a free safety at Louisville in college. I have a lot of family there – aunts, uncles, and a grandfather. So I will visit there before I start comparing all the schools."

In addition to the football equation, Looney will also heavily consider academics in making his decision. He anticipates majoring in physical therapy in college, and he and his mother, in particular, have already had several discussions about it.

"We are looking at the academics, and at the best situation for me in college," Looney said. "It's about where you feel at home and getting that family atmosphere."

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