"ONE ON ONE" W/ #2 DT, Franklin Okam

Touted as one of the country's best, DT, Franklin Okam isn't feeling any pressure to figure out where he's going to go, simply because he almost has his choice just by throwing darts at the map. Size, speed, strength, this one has it all, thus the attention of what he thinks now and of course, where he goes in the future, everyone wants to know.

Q: What do you think of the attention thus far? Is it everything you expected or more than you could ever have hoped?

A: "Oh, it's more than I could have ever hoped for. Playing football, you dream about the possibility of playing at an Ohio State, Florida State, Notre Dame, Nebraska or Texas, but you never think you are going to have the opportunity and all of a sudden, you have all these schools offering you, so I guess it's like a dream come true."

Q: As size has gone up, even the bigger players don't stand out, but do you find that at your position, being 6'5" and over 300 lbs., you have a definite size advantage over the players you go against?

A: "(laughing) You would think so, but in Texas, there are a lot of big guys."

Q: You bring up Texas and that kind of prompts me to ask that when you are facing some of the best players in Texas, which means you are facing some of the best players in the country and people still call you the best, is it easier to believe because of the competition you face?

A: "I don't know. Texas does have some of the best football players in the country and you play against some of the top ones every week and people start calling you the best in the state or the country, it's still hard to put that in perspective on how large of a number of players you are talking about."

Q: Well, the insiders rates you as the second best defensive tackle in the country and I would wonder, do you think about what it's like to be ranked that high or who is that one player who's ranked ahead of you?

A: "I kind of do wonder who number one is. I always try to make myself compete at a higher level than my opponent. My goal is to make myself the best player in the country, so you always want to know who's ranked ahead of you, so you know what you have to do to get to the next level, but there's always going to be someone that's better than you."

Q: Don't you find that interesting in that on one side, you are thinking how blessed you are just to be ranked that high and then on the other hand, you aren't necessarily mad that someone else is ranked ahead of you, but it bothers you, if just a little?"

A: "(laughing) It kind of is interesting. It just makes you work that much harder, because you really want to think that you are the best out there."

Q: Talking about you, you are a mammoth defensive tackle, you have great speed and strength, do you find yourself just overmatching your opponent most of the time?

A: "Most of the time, yes, because if I do face someone that is bigger than me, I can just use my speed."

Q: What is your strength as a defensive tackle?

A: "My thing is to get off the ball quick and read the plays faster than the offensive linemen can get off and run the play, that way you can just disrupt their entire offense, especially when they are trying to run the play inside. You take that away from a team and keep them passing, you have a lot more chances to make big plays."

Q: How many offers do you have right now?

A: "I have 25."

Q: Does that cover everyone in the Big XII?

A: "I think everyone except Missouri."

Q: Since I cover Nebraska recruiting, I look to see if there is interest in the Huskers and right now, our list doesn't say you have an interest in NU. Is Nebraska a team you are considering seriously at all?

A: "Yes it is."

Q: Well, I am sure Husker fans will be happy to hear that and that would then bring me to this question, what do you like about them?

A: "I started watching college football in the mid-90s. I was always seeing Nebraska compete for a Big XII title, a national championship, year in and year out and they always produce some great athletes and every year, they have some great recruiting classes and you can't look past that. I also hear that Nebraska fans are some of the most loyal fans you could meet."

Q: When you look at this huge list of yours, have you managed to narrow it down yet or is it still wide-open for you?

A: "I really don't have a top-anything. I just want to get out there a little bit more and go on some visits and get more information about the schools."

Q: Ok, now for the inevitable question that any kid in Texas gets, what if anything says you aren't a Longhorn waiting to happen?

A: "I get that question all the time, but the thing is, I am from Arkansas, so while most people from Texas might feel obligated to go to that school, I guess I don't feel that obligation. Going out of state isn't going to be a problem for me."

Q: What about weather? Is that going to be an issue?

A: "I don't know. Being in Texas, you don't get that much cold, but I actually like the cold."

Q: What are the criteria you have for the school you ultimately choose?

A: "It has to have great academics first of all. I want to go to a school where my degree means something and it has to be an environment where I feel comfortable with the players and coaches, because it's going to be a place I am going to be for the next four or five years."

Q: Do you have a timeline right now on when you want to take your officials?

A: "I guess, I will take them after my senior football season."

Q: You don't want to take any during?

A: "If I do, it will probably be just one or two."

Q: Are you going to take anymore unofficial visits?

A: I think so. I think I am just going to drive up maybe to OU, Oklahoma State, Arkansas and just see what's going on up there and maybe go to a TCU camp."

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Steve Ryan can be reached at huskerconnection@neb.rr.com or 402-730-5619

Make sure to check out the RED ZONE, where we will have even more info. as it pertains to the Huskers on each recruit and check out all the day-to-day stuff that never sees the front page and join the fun!


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