January 22, 2013

Looney settles in at Wake

James Looney, who is the younger brother of San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman and former Demon Deacon standout Joe Looney, has made a smooth transition to the college life since he enrolled at Wake Forest earlier this month.

"I like it [college] a lot, because I think I was old enough and mature enough to be on my own, and to be on my own, knowing my own responsibilities, having to read my books for school, having to wake up in the morning, going to work out I just think it helps you grow up and realize that life isn't waiting for anyone and you got to get what you need to get right away," Looney said.

"The only thing you can control right now is the present. You just got to leave the future up to God."

The defensive end from Lake Worth (Fla.) added it is helpful to have an older brother who can identify with what he is going through.

"Joe was telling me the same thing I really thought of coming up here [to Wake] this is a good school, I'm going to get a good education no matter what, but at the end of the day me and him had a conversation about college football and at the end of the day everybody has to put on their pads the same way, put on their pants one leg at a time, so coming in I'm going to respect these upper guys, learn from them and just try to take in whatever they can teach me and just try to go out there and perform my best," Looney said.

"I can always call and ask him about questions, how did he deal with this, how did he deal with that, [and] how did he deal with the diversity of practice. If I ever questions I need to talk to him about, even if I talk about anything he's always there to talk to."

Ray McCartney recruited Looney for the Deacs, and will be his position coach.

"He [McCartney] was telling me [I will play] either defensive end or defensive tackle and maybe, possibly nose, but I'm leaning toward the d-tackle and defensive end," Looney said. "All I want to do is just be on the field."

"As an athlete like me I got a lot of good speed, like running a 4.9 40, so I think my speed aspect will help me out moving to make that shift and also I got good upper body strength and good lower body athleticism."

The 6-foot-4 and 275-pound Sunshine State product, who is rated as a three-star recruit by Rivals.com, missed nearly half of his senior season due to a hip injury, but said he is back to full-speed and will be ready for spring practice. Looney thinks he will be able to contribute right away.

Looney, who has never seen snow, said Wake Forest is different from his Florida home.

"Wake's really hard scholastically and having to balance out your time," Looney said. "It's real good for me learning how to use my time well. Also, it's a lot of diversity. You meet people from everywhere."

"Wake's a really good school. There's nothing bad about this school that I've found out. It's just a real good place. The people up here are a lot nicer than everywhere else. It's a good spot for me. It's a great education and it's in the ACC, so you can't really do better than that."

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