Looney chooses Mississippi State

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Oak Mountain senior lineman D.J. Looney made a verbal commitment to Mississippi State University to play football for the Bulldogs and head coach Sylvester Croom.

&8220;I picked Mississippi State because I believe that it&8217;s the best situation for me,&8221; Looney said. &8220;It&8217;s close to home and my family.&8221;

Oak Mountain head coach Jerry Hood said Looney has been an influential part of his squad since he began starting games in his sophomore year.

&8220;D.J. has been a leader on and off the football field,&8221; Hood said. &8220;He wanted to commit early so he could concentrate on his senior season with Oak Mountain. That is where his priority is right now.&8221;

The six foot, two inch, 285-pound lineman was recruited by MSU offensive line coach J.B Grimes and said he made the decisions two weeks ago. He said he made his decision after having the opportunity to evaluate the school when former Eagle teammate Mark Melichar was recruited by the Bulldogs last year.

&8220;I had a chance to go visit the school and I feel like it&8217;s the best fit for me,&8221; Looney said. &8220;They have a great program and a great coaching staff.&8221;

Looney is the fourth player from Oak Mountain in the past two years to be recruited by a Southeastern Conference football team.

&8220;It&8217;s unbelievable for our school,&8221; Hood said. &8220;We&8217;re honored that schools in the SEC think well of our players and our coaching staff.&8221;

Looney will officially sign with the Bulldogs at the end of his senior season on signing day.