RECRUITING: The next Tommie Harris?

Dallas, Texas defensive tackle Franklin Okam could develop into one of the nations' top prospects. Okam talks about the comparrisons to Harris and his interest level in the Sooners


Finding the franchise defensive tackle is never easy and that is why so many colleges are camping out on the doorstep of Mr. Okam. Franklin just might be the very best defensive tackle in the country and he certainly is the very best in Texas. That in itself means a great deal in college football recruiting.

"I do realize comments like that or compliments like that are very unreal in many ways," said Okam. "When I am compared to a Tommie Harris at Oklahoma, or some of the other top defensive tackles of the past, it is almost too much for me to believe sometimes."

Okam has been a starter at defensive tackle since his sophomore year and last season Okam finished the season with 70 tackles, (half of those solos) 15 tackles for losses, seven sacks, 14 quarterback hurries and three fumbles caused.

"Most of the players I go up against in high school are smaller than me, and that gives me an advantage," said Okam. "However, once we get into the playoffs or district I do go up against players who are as big as me, but they don't have my speed and quickness. I think the fact that I have both size and quickness is something that most of my opponents don't have."

Okam can bench 395 pounds, squats 500 and he is a 29-inch vertical jump. Okam lettered in hoops and he throws the shot (51 1/2) and discus (made state with a toss of 174 feet).

Okam has been offered by over 20 schools and more are still pouring in.

"I am trying to give each school a chance and I am trying to learn something about each school or as much as I possibly can about each school," said Okam. "I don't want to miss out on a great school because I don't have the information I need on that school. Notre Dame, Stanford, Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Colorado and LSU are some of my top schools early, but this list could grow as the summer wears on."

Okam has a great interest in the Sooners.

"I think pretty highly of them, "said Okam. "They have a great program up there with a great coaching staff that is always winning and doing the right thing. OU has a beautiful campus and they have a great academic support group. The OU coaches really seem to care for their players."

Okam hopes to go to the OU, Texas, Texas A&M and Notre Dame summer one-day camps. Okam wants to study sports medicine.

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