Thigpen discovered Okakpu, a 6-foot-1 200-pound linebacker from Roswell (Ga.), at Scout.com's Elite Camp held in May.
"He said I had really good footwork," said Okakpu. "He really didn't say too much. He just said he liked my footwork and that made him watch my film."
A few days after Thigpen made initial contact, Okakpu received a UNC scholarship offer.
Okakpu has received around 16 scholarship offers including offers from Clemson, Auburn, Georgia, Louisville, Miami, Mississippi, Purdue, South Carolina, and Virginia Tech.
Since the Scout.com Elite Camp, Thigpen and Okakpu communicate regularly.
"I talk to him every day, pretty much every day," said Okakpu. "He just kind of talks to me like a friend would. That's why I like him, because he's more of a friend than a recruiter."
Thigpen and Okakpu have, though, talked a little recruiting.
"He said they have two [linebackers] that are seniors, so that would opens things up for me if I came [to UNC]," said Okakpu. "I think they're trying to bring in two or three [linebackers] with my class."
After visiting UNC, Okakpu will schedule trips to Auburn and Louisville. He has already visited Georgia, Georgia Tech, and South Carolina.
Okakpu's summer trips are important, because he plans on making a verbal commitment by the end of July.
"I can't really say that I have a favorite," said Okakpu. "I'm trying to get more visits done to see who I like and who I don't like. So I can't really say that I have a real favorite right now."
By mid-July he said he hopes to narrow his list of choices to five schools.
Okakpu wants to end his recruitment early and begin to focus solely on his senior season as soon as possible.
"I just want to get [recruiting] out of the way so that I can concentrate on my season," said Okakpu. "We won the state championship last year and we're trying to do it again."
Okakpu played a major role in Roswell's championship defense. He accumulated 121 tackles including nine for a loss and a sack, and picked off three passes. He was named to the all-state, all-region, and all-county teams for his junior year accomplishments.